Sell bangers to fund stadium – Dalziel’s former campaigner

WHO'S PAYING: Aaron Campbell doesn't believe rate payers should have to fork out for the propose multi-use arena.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s former campaign secretary says ratepayers shouldn’t fork out hundreds of millions of dollars for a stadium.

Aaron Campbell, who is now a community board member, suggested the Canterbury or New Zealand Rugby Football Union “could sell a few bangers on the barbeque outside Bunnings” to help raise funds.

Mr Campbell said at a Long Term Plan submission hearing last week the partly city council-funded multi-use arena would put the already cash-strapped city into debt.

A stadium with 33,000 seats is estimated to cost about $500 million.

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods said last month a business case for the new stadium had been fast-tracked.

Ms Dalziel said the city council has budgeted $253 million for the project, but the funding won’t be available until 2022.

However, she said the city council might consider moving the project forward in the LTP.

Mr Campbell was Ms Dalziel’s campaign secretary during the build up to the 2016 local body elections.

He was also co-campaign manager for Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb last year, who took the seat from National’s Nicky Wagner in the general election.

Mr Campbell ventured into politics for the first time in 2016 and is now deputy chairman of the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board.

He won’t rule out standing for a seat on the city council in the future.

“What I’ve learnt the most within the community board is just how interesting it really is. I am really enjoying not just what’s happening in the ward but going out into other areas of Christchurch.”

He is calling on the city council to run a full feasibility study encompassing venue and events-specific analysis, project management, accountability and procurement options, as well as identifying operating and management structures for the arena.

“I would ask for you to consider building a covered stand arena with a future-proofed design, that will allow for a roof to be built in perhaps 10-15 years.”

Mr Campbell mentioned the public outcry over Ed Sheeran skipping Christchurch to city councillors.

He said to avoid future lost opportunities like this, it could “use $35-50 million to extend Horncastle Arena to the size of Auckland’s largest indoor venue,” he said.