29 Jun 2015

Money shift amid project delays in Chch

4:06 pm on 29 June 2015

Money previously earmarked for a major residential development in central Christchurch has been re-allocated by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), amid delays of key rebuild projects.

Quake repair work continues on the banks of the Avon River.

Quake repair work on the banks of the Avon River. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The Government's $20 million funding of the Margaret Mahy Family Playground used to be part of the eastern frame residential development, but has been transferred to the Avon River precinct.

It means the total cost of the Avon River revamp would now be $116m.

A CERA spokesperson said the money did not represent new spending, rather a switch from one pot to another.

CERA is seeking a further $10m in philanthropic investment for the playground, but would not say if any additional funding had yet been secured.

When the total funding was revealed, Labour MPs and community leaders criticised the potential $30m spend, saying the price tag for the park was excessive.

The playground is scheduled to be open by December, a year later than previously promised.

CERA called for expressions of interest from construction firms wanting to develop the east frame, 17 months ago.

A spokesperson said a preferred developer was expected to be announced in the next few months.

The construction of the 'public realm' of the east frame was due to be completed by the last quarter of this year but work has yet to start.