27 Apr 2016

Ngai Tahu abandons plans for Chch cultural precinct

6:21 pm on 27 April 2016

Ngài Tahu has ditched plans for a cultural precinct in central Christchurch, but the head of a group overseeing the rebuild says work is underway on all the planned anchor projects.

An artists impression of the planned Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre, which has now been shelved.

An artists impression of the planned Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre, which has now been shelved. Photo: Supplied

The proposed Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre project was announced two years ago, though no timeframe was given for the anchor project, which was included in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan in 2012.

The centre - a project led by Ngài Tahu - is the second anchor project that has been abandoned, after the government halted work on the Breathe residential demonstration project in December.

Ngài Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett said the decision was made to focus on earthquake recovery at whànau level.

She said Ngài Tahu was focusing on its programmes in affordable housing and other support programmes, which it believed must remain its focus for the foreseeable future.

Greater Christchurch Group director, Kelvan Smith, comes after Ngai Tahu abandoned plans to build a cultural precinct in the central city.

In a statement, Greater Christchurch Group director Kelvan Smith told RNZ that as stated in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre was proposed as a facility for central Christchurch, and was for Ngāi Tahu to make further decisions on.

"Aside from this, there is physical work complete or underway, or planning underway, on every other anchor project listed in the Recovery Plan.

"The stadium is expected to be the last of the projects to be undertaken, but there have been land purchases taking place for the project.''

Mr Smith said that in the case of the Residential Demonstration Project, the development did not proceed as proposed due to Breathe Limited being unable to confirm the availability of funding, but the use of this Crown-owned land was now under consideration.

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