Sport & recreation  |  15 Feb 2022

Plans to add a new indoor court facility at the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub are progressing well, with a contractor lined up for the project and the funding in place.

The new Netsal Centre will be fully owned by the Christchurch Netball Centre (CNC) and will have 10 indoor courts. It is going to be built on reserve land leased from Christchurch City Council.

CNC has secured a main contractor and hopes to have construction on the new facility under way in the middle of this year. It will take about 12 months to build.

An artist's impression of the entrance to the Netsal Centre.

“This is an amazing opportunity to develop a new indoor facility for our netball community,’’ says CNC Board Chair Anna Galvan.

“The facility will enable us to lead community netball into the future. It is a chance of a lifetime for our sport locally – it will benefit not only today’s generation of netballers, but those in the future.’’

The majority cost of the Netsal Centre is being met by an anonymous benefactor who wanted to give money after the earthquakes to benefit women’s sport in Christchurch. The benefactor was originally going to gift $10 million but has generously agreed to increase the amount to $11 million to reflect the escalating cost of building work.

CNC has also secured $500,000 from New Zealand Lotteries and $750,000 from the New Zealand Community Trust towards sprung wooden flooring for the 10 courts.

It has also raised money for the new facility through the sale of the current Christchurch Netball Centre in Hagley Park.

“The development of a new indoor facility gives us an opportunity to create a space which works for our netball community and provides us with a new home base which supports our future,’’ Mrs Galvan says.

Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says it is great to see the plans for the Netsal Centre coming to fruition.

“The Christchurch Netball Centre have been working on its plans for new indoor centre for several years and we are delighted at the progress that has made,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge.

“When the Council agreed in 2020 to lease land at Ngā Puna Wai for the new indoor courts, it promised to develop a comprehensive traffic management plan for the site because it wanted to mitigate the amount of parking on residential streets and to encourage parking within the Ngā Puna Wai grounds.

“We have been working away on that over the past year and shortly staff will bring a report to the Council with some recommendations on how we can add more parking and entry points to Ngā Puna Wai,’’ Mr Rutledge says.

“We want to make sure that we provide sufficient parking for the growing number of people who are coming to participate in, or to watch, sport at Ngā Puna Wai.

“We also need to be mindful of the residents who live nearby. We have $4.9 million set aside in the Long Term Plan for additional parking and transport improvements that will help us to manage the impacts of Ngā Puna Wai’s growing popularity on the surrounding residential area.

“As we start to develop more detailed plans for managing the traffic in and around Ngā Puna Wai we will be engaging with the local community to get their input,’’ Mr Rutledge says.