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Bulk of $300m for multi-use stadium

Leighton Heikell
Elizabeth Thomson
Protesters at City Council  Elizabeth Thomson

The council has voted towards spending $220m of Government funding on a new multi-use stadium, despite being confronted by protestors.

Yani Johanson was the only councillor to oppose the proposal of what to spend the $300m regeneration acceleration fund on, and said the public should be consulted.  

Christchurch City Council staff had recommended the remainder of the fund be split with $40m towards fixing the city's roads and a further $40m spent on the residential red zone green corridor. 

A group of protesters were at the council meeting and Christchurch Progressive Network representative Bronwen Summers said the council needed to spend the money on housing. 

"We are deeply disappointed, I think there are many many things that need addressing in this city long before a stadium.

"I look around those [councillors] and wonder whether any of them have had to live under a bridge, because we know that is happening in this city," she said.

"There are people still living in appaling situations and we need to make them the priority and not the stadium."

Christchurch business leaders told the council it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" the council "could not afford" to miss. 

Property developer and investor Richard Prebbles said a lot more cafes and bars would close, and more and more concerts and events would continue to be in Dunedin over Christchurch.

"It's an arms race and we are losing and we can't afford not to have a stadium."

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Leanne Watson said the central city was at a tipping point.

She said if the stadium didn't move forward, it could be a huge disaster for the retail and hospitality industry and some businesses wouldn't survive.

"The businesses have invested in the central city have done so based on the fact that we are going to get a multi-use arena in Christchurch."

She said the central city's economy was at a tipping point, and some businesses would not survive.