Christchurch City Council brings Simpson Grierson in on $473m arena project

The project is “is a key part of the regeneration of Christchurch,” the team’s lead partner says

Christchurch City Council brings Simpson Grierson in on $473m arena project

The Christchurch City Council has tapped a team from Simpson Grierson to advise on a major $473m state-of-the-art arena project.

The Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) is intended to take the place of Lancaster Park, which sustained severe damage in the Christchurch earthquakes. According to the city council’s press release, the CMUA is Christchurch’s last anchor project, and is set to restore Canterbury as a major sporting and events destination.

Kōtui, a consortium of construction companies, has joined the project as designers and builders. The consortium is led by Australian company BESIX Watpac, which has expertise in stadium construction, and includes Christchurch-based Southbase Construction and Fulton Hogan.

International stadium design companies Populous and Mott MacDonald, who played roles in the development of London’s Wembley Stadium, were announced as part of the consortium, along with specialist structural engineering firm Lewis Bradford and architects Warren and Mahoney. 

On-site construction will commence early next year.

“Due to the complexities of delivering this project including fixed budget, the need for wide stakeholder and community engagement, and the early stage of the current design, Christchurch City Council was happy to embrace a collaborative process involving council, contractors and design consultants,” Simpson Grierson lead partner Michael Weatherall told NZ Lawyer. “It was a real privilege to be involved in this project which is a key part of the regeneration of Christchurch and will be a fantastic asset for the city for generations to come.”

Special counsel Lisa Curran and senior solicitor Charlotte Kuhn worked together with Weatherall on the transaction. The firm said that the team was “instrumental in developing an innovative early contractor involvement procurement methodology and associated contracts, tailored specifically for the project.”

“This [project] has attracted a truly world class team in Kōtui which includes both international and local resources, and is an exciting milestone for the people of Canterbury,” Weatherall said.

The Christchurch City Council is funding the CMUA together with the Crown.

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