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Multi billion investment in Christchurch - great news

Multi billion investment in Christchurch - great news for city

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says today's $4.8 billion cost-sharing deal between Christchurch City Council and Crown gives the city certainty to push ahead with the rebuild of key city facilities and infrastructure.

Mayor Parker says the agreement is a hugely significant milestone in the rebuild of the city. "There is now clarity about who is responsible for leading and funding each of the major projects. It gives us the green light to go ahead with the rebuild," he says.

"Having confirmation around the cost-sharing ratios for the repair of our underground pipes and roads is of huge importance to us. It means we can plan our future budgets with real certainty."

Mayor Parker says as a result of the Council's proposal to save the Town Hall, the Council will oversee the development of a new performing arts precinct adjacent to the Theatre Royal.

The Council is also responsible for building a new flagship Central Library fronting Cathedral Square and shares responsibility with the Crown for enhancement of The Square and a new Central City transport plan.

"While there are clear signs of progress all around the city, this deal gives Christchurch the certainty needed to ramp up major investment within the four avenues," Mayor Parker says.

"Much of our emphasis in the Central Business District since the earthquakes has been the removal of dangerous buildings. Work can now start in earnest on rebuilding in the heart of our city."

"By Christmas you will see significant progress on many of the plans for the major city facilities."

The Crown is contributing $2.9 billion to the rebuild, and the Council $1.9 billion.

"We can afford this investment. Our rates' increases before the earthquake were averaging 4 per cent a year, Council then agreed to a special earthquake levy of around 1.8% a year for five years to fund the earthquake response costs. We are two years through this programme so in three years that levy will be reduced by an equivalent amount," Mayor Parker says.

"Last year residents told us what they wanted for the major community facilities in the Central City. Today's agreement reinforces the decisions we made for these facilities following public consultation as part of last year's Annual Plan process. There are no surprises in this agreement. It reflects what our residents have told us they want," Mayor Parker says.

The Council has allowed $782.9 million, including escalations, for its share of the major Central City facilities which is $22 million less than budgeted for in the Three Year Plan.

The Council has also committed $1.1 billion to the costs of repairing and rebuilding Christchurch's earthquake damaged roads and underground pipes. The Crown's share of $1.8 billion is based on agreed subsidies of 83 per cent for roading and 60 per cent for sewer, water, and stormwater.

"This binding agreement demonstrates a genuine partnership and commitment between the Council and the Crown to the recovery and rebuild."

Appendix 1

Anchor Projects
The Council's contribution for the Anchor projects - the Frame, the Convention Centre Precinct, the Stadium, Car parking, Metro Sports Facility, the Town Hall/Performing Arts Precinct, the Earthquake Memorial, Central Library, Avon River Park, The Square, Transport Interchange and Transport Plan - is $782.9 million including escalations.

Convention Centre
The Crown will lead the Convention Centre rebuild. It is hoping to secure private sector investment. There is no Council funding towards this in the form of capital or operating costs.

The Frame
The Crown is funding this project and when completed will transfer the public areas back to the Council.

The Stadium
The proposal in the Central City Recovery Plan is for a 35,000 seat covered stadium for sport and entertainment events over three city blocks between Hereford and Tuam streets, bounded by Madras and Barbadoes streets. This agreement caps the Council contribution at $253 million - the amount the Council allowed for rebuilding the original AMI Stadium at Lancaster Park.

Metro Sports Facility
The Crown will lead this project, but the Council will have final approval of the design and scope for the project. The Council is contributing $147 million of the total cost of the Metro Sports Facility which includes a competition pool, an indoor sports stadium and a movement centre.

Transport Interchange
* The project includes a new Central City bus interchange, two Central City superstops in Manchester Street and at the Hospital, the Riccarton and Northlands Shopping Centre suburban interchanges and Riccarton road bus priority measures. * The Crown is seeking private sector investment to build and operate the Transport Interchange, but if this isn't successful the fall back position is that the Council will own and operate the Transport Interchange.

Avon River Precinct
The Crown is leading this project, with the Council's contribution being $6.4 million. The Crown's contribution is $89 million.

The Square
The Crown and the Council will work together on a joint project to enhance Cathedral Square with the Council contributing $4.6million, an amount the Crown will equal.

Performing Arts Precinct
Given its determination to save one of the city's landmarks, the Town Hall, the Council will consider several options before 31 August this year. These include saving all or part of the Town Hall and developing a cultural arts precinct adjacent to the Theatre Royal.

The Council has budgeted $158 million, including the Town Hall rebuild, for this project.

Central Library
The Council will lead this project to build a flagship central library fronting Cathedral Square. The Council has budgeted $60 million for this project with a further $29 million from the Crown and philanthropic sources.

Car parking
The Council will work with CCDU and the private sector on central city parking. At this stage there is a need for three central city car parking buildings. The Council has budgeted $70 million which will be funded by repair funds and insurance proceeds from the Manchester, Lichfield, Crossing, Farmers and Crown Plaza car parks.

Earthquake Memorial
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage is leading this project on behalf of the Crown which is also funding the Memorial. The Council may be required to maintain the Memorial.

Transport Plan
The Council is providing $27 million towards changes to the layout of the Central City transport network. It is a joint Crown/Council project. The funding will cover: * Enhancement of roads adjacent to Avon River Precinct (portions of Cambridge Terrace, Durham Street, Colombo Street and Armagh Street) * Enhancement of Manchester Boulevard/Street from Transport Interchange to Kilmore Street. * Health Precinct, Avon River, Oxford/Tuam swap. Enhancement of surrounding areas (portions of St Asaph, Antigua, Montreal, Hagley and Selwyn streets). * Two-way transformation of Kilmore Street. * Fitzgerald/Kilmore intersection/bridge enhancement. * Fitzgerald/Moorhouse intersection enhancement. * Lincoln/Moorhouse intersection enhancement.

- ends -

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