Selwyn ratepayers could help fund stadium

An artists impression of the proposed stadium in the central city. IMAGE: OTAKARO LTD

Selwyn ratepayers could be pulled into bearing the cost of Christchurch’s planned sports and events arena.

The district council has suggested a targeted rate, collected by Environment Canterbury, could be used to help fund the new stadium.

In a submission on the city council’s long term plan, district council staff said it could be collected in a similar way rates are levied for the Canterbury Museum.

“[W]here the rate paid by each territorial authorities rateable units are discounted based on distance from Christchurch,” said the submission.

But Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said it needs more clarity from the city council on the stadium project before it can begin to consult with its ratepayers.

“We haven’t discussed it with anyone in Selwyn…until those discussions are had we don’t know what we are even asking for,” he said.

On Friday, Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods said the city council and The Crown have fast tracked work on the stadium to the point planning can begin.

Concerns have previously been raised by district councillors over the lack of communication surrounding how the stadium will be funded.

District councillor Craig Watson told the Selwyn Times, if ratepayers are expected to fund the stadium, they need to be part of the conversation from the beginning.

“I am not happy to find out at the eleventh hour our ratepayers are going to be hit with a rate if we are not consulted on it,” he said.

Cr Watson said it is not Selwyn ratepayers that benefit if an international superstar such as Ed Sheeran comes to Christchurch.

It is estimated singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran brought $34 million into Dunedin’s economy during his concert tour at Forsyth Barr Stadium in the city at the end of March.

But he said there are indirect benefits where Selwyn residents have a nearby stadium they can go to for watching sports games or seeing a band play live.