31 May 2018

The wait for new aquatic facilities in the east is over.

The multimillion-dollar Taiora QEII Recreation and Sport Centre has been officially opened – ahead of schedule and under budget.

“The opening of this wonderful new centre represents a major milestone in eastern Christchurch’s post-earthquake recovery,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

“For the first time since the earthquakes, people living in the east have aquatic facilities they can be proud of.  They have a place where their kids can learn to swim and where they can have fun with their friends and family.

“It is a really positive step forward and I’m thrilled to have had the honour of opening the new centre,’’ the Mayor says.

“This is no ordinary community facility. And that’s because the special features have not been funded by ratepayers. Somewhere out there is an anonymous donor, whose compassion for the children of the east ring fenced millions of dollars for their benefit.

“Whoever you are, thank you. You will see from the joy on the faces of the children who will use this facility, that your gift has achieved its purpose. We cannot thank you enough,’’ the Mayor says.

Christchurch City Council contracted Apollo Projects to build the new $38.6 million centre to replace some of the aquatic and fitness facilities lost when the earthquake-damaged QEII Centre was demolished.

The centre was designed with input from the community and includes a 130-metre long hydroslide, a 25-metre lap pool, a leisure pool with lazy river channel and water toys, a learn-to-swim pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a spa, sauna, and steam room.

It also has a fitness centre with a spin studio and group fitness area, a café, meeting rooms, and enough parking for 200 vehicles and 160 bikes. The parking will be free for Taiora QEII customers.

Burwood ward Councillor Glenn Livingstone says the community played a vital role in designing the new centre and he is excited for them to see how their vision has been turned into reality.

“The previous facility was purpose-built for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. By contrast this new incarnation is purpose-built to serve the local community for generations to come,’’ he says.

Coastal ward Councillor David East says the opening of the Taiora QEII Recreation and Sport Centre builds on the legacy of QEII Park.

“This park has a proud history and has been the location for many memorable events over the years. The opening of our new aquatic and fitness centre ensures it will continue to be a place where memories are made,’’ Cr East says.