Te Kaha

Capacity30 000
Country New Zealand
ClubsCrusaders, Canterbury Rugby
CategoryDesign being implemented
Cost$ 683 mln
Design Kōtui


Te Kaha – design description

Why is a new fully covered stadium to be built in Christchurch?

Christchurch was hit by two catastrophic earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011, after which many buildings in the city had to be demolished. A similar fate befell the city's main stadium, Lancaster Park, which was first taken out of use and demolished in 2019, although repairs were still initially considered.

To replace the damaged facility, a new 18,000-seater stadium was opened in March 2012 in the Addington area. By design, however, it was only a temporary facility. In July 2012, the Christchurch Reconstruction Plan was published, which also included a new stadium. The facility was to be built in the very centre of Christchurch. The city proceeded to gradually buy up land and demolish buildings on the parcel of land planned for the new arena (between Hereford, Barbadoes, Tuam and Madras Streets).

How did the project for a new stadium in Christchurch develop?

The new stadium was intended to hold around 30,000 spectators and to be equipped with a fixed roof over the stands and pitch, although the capacity and other details were later the subject of much discussion and analysis, with serious consideration being given, for example, to the possibility of extending the pitch beyond the stadium. A feasibility study was carried out in 2017, in which various options were considered. In 2018, geotechnical investigations of the ground began.

The construction was to be co-financed by government funds and the city budget. The final agreement, under which the government committed $220 million to the investment (estimated at the time to cost $473 million), was signed in October 2020.

In March 2021, it was announced that the Kōtui consortium led by BESIX Watpac would be responsible for the design and construction of the stadium, with participation from the likes of Warren and Mahoney, Populous and Mott MacDonald. In August 2021, the city council backed away from an earlier idea to reduce the capacity to 25,000 spectators, although this meant that the expected cost of construction would increase to $533 million.

In January 2022, city councillors approved a new name for the planned stadium - 'Te Kaha' (Maori for 'strength'). This is a shortened version from 'Te Kaharoa' ('enduring strength'), which was previously given to the piece of land on which the stadium is to stand.

On April 8, 2022, the groundbreaking ceremony was held and work began to prepare the site for construction. The start of the actual work still had to be postponed until the final approval of the design by the city. Rising inflation and increases in the prices of construction materials and services caused the estimated cost of the project to rise by $150 million to a substantial $683 million.

In July 2022, the city council voted to increase the investment budget so that work could continue. It was also agreed to postpone the stadium's opening date to April 2026.

What will Te Kaha Stadium in Christchurch feature?

Located in the heart of Christchurch's city centre, the stadium will feature a rectangular pitch, located in a north-south orientation. Surrounding the playing field will be two-tier stands with a permanent capacity of 25,000 spectators. Modular stands behind the north end of the pitch will accommodate an additional 5,000 people. When they are folded down, the space gained will be usable, for example, to build a stage. Numerous catering facilities will be available to fans at the stadium. The facility is to have a reinforced, seismic-resistant structure.

The stadium will be equipped with a fixed roof over both the stands and the pitch. The canopy will be largely made of light-transmitting ETFE material, which is important in terms of providing the right conditions for the hybrid pitch, although obviously this will not be sufficient and the grass will need to be floodlit. The facility will be the second fully roofed stadium in the world to feature a natural turf pitch (after Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand).

No additional car parks will be built around the stadium. The city authorities explain this as a desire to change the habits of fans and encourage them to use other methods of getting to the stadium than using a car, although, of course, space constraints also influenced this decision. There will, however, be parking spaces for bicycles and scooters next to the stadium.

Who will Te Kaha serve?

The stadium will be used for rugby union, rugby league or football. The main user will be the Cruzaders team, playing in the international Super Rugby competition. It is assumed that the All Blacks (New Zealand's national rugby union team) will also play here occasionally. In addition, the venue is expected to host major concerts and other events.



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