Studio106 architect is an Auckland-based architecture and design practice focusing on sports, community and leisure projects. Recently, Studio106 in conjunction with Beca, was awarded the contract to realise Stage-One of the Nga Puna Wai Multisports Hub Masterplan in Christchurch: a $40M community project set to provide much needed community facilities for sports displaced out of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
Studio106 and Beca had earlier worked with Global Leisure Group and alongside Christchurch City Council and the key stakeholders, to produce the initial feasibility report and wider masterplan for Nga Puna Wai. The masterplan offered the council a staged approach to managing the development with Stage-One now ready to roll-out.
The hub will combine facilities for a number of sporting disciplines – including athletics, hockey, tennis, rugby league, and other users of natural sports fields – set on 32 hectares of Nga Puna Wai reserve, near Wigram.
The Council’s Recreation and Sports Unit Manager, John Filsell, says the Council is continuing to work hand-in-hand with Sport New Zealand, Sport Canterbury, Canterbury Hockey, Tennis Canterbury, Canterbury Rugby League and the local community to bring the hub’s shared vision to life.
The hub will be a staged development over the next 10 to 30 years, with Stage-One to be delivered over the 2017/2018 period.
“During last year’s public consultation we received an overwhelmingly positive signal from the community that a sports hub at Nga Puna Wai was in Christchurch’s future,” says Mr Filsell. “Ninety per cent of the more than 4,700 submissions we received were in favour.”
With the community in support of the development, the facilities could not come fast enough. Many teams, displaced by the earthquake five years ago are looking forward to having a centralized hub for sport and recreation.
Hockey, for example, is using the only water-based turf in the city at St Bede’s College’s Marist Park after their home at Porritt Park in Avonside was destroyed by liquefaction.
The new hub will include an athletics track, built to replace the one lost through the demolition of QEII Park; two water-based hockey pitches lost from Porrit Park; and tennis facilities lost from Wilding Park.
Alongside these a sand carpet pitch for rugby league, grandstands, toilets, changing facilities and a centralised social hub are also included as part of the Stage-One development.
Sport’s economic contribution is often understated. We often hear how much a big rugby test adds to the tourism sector coffers, but they are once a year events.
A 2011 report by Lincoln University economics professor (and Mainland Football referee) Paul Dalziel estimated the sport and recreation sector (including volunteered services) contributed $759.4 million to Canterbury-West Coast’s regional GDP, or 3.3 per cent, in 2008-09.*1
Almost every week of the year, grassroots sport is hosting a senior, junior or master’s national tournament. They all attract all kinds of visitors from teams who fill hotel and motel beds, to supporters and families who spend money in restaurants, bars and shops.
The Nga Puna Wai sports hub will benefit Christchurch in many ways. But most importantly, as the city recovers, there is a need to provide a place to play, where young and old can pursue their sporting dreams, and connect again around a social centre.