A new recreation and sport centre is currently being built at QEII Park in northeast Christchurch. The previous QEII Recreation and Sport Centre was significantly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes and was demolished in 2012.

August 2017 update: Bird's eye view of QEII

Although the new QEII facility is looking more and more impressive, it can be hard to see from the street.

As usual, the best view is the bird's eye view. Thanks to Apollo Projects(external link) for this great video of the progress.

September 2017 update: Christchurch School of Gymnastics

On 28 September, the Council approved the lease of land at QEII Park to the Christchurch School of Gymnastics.

The land will be used for their new facility, replacing the current earthquake-damaged building. The site is between sports fields in the northern part of the park.

Has the public had the chance to give feedback?

Consultation ran from 6 June – 3 July 2017. People were notified of the consultation via a public notice, emails to stakeholders and previous submitters on QEII Park projects, letter drops and a news item in the Recreation and Sports Centre email update. The consultation drew 108 submissions, with 89 in support of the proposal. Read a full breakdown of the feedback.(external link)

Are there other sites that could be used for the Christchurch School of Gymnastics (CSG)?

It was hoped that further consultation could take place with the community to consider other locations for the CSG building which were discussed at an onsite meeting with residents and community groups. However, after further investigations into these alternative sites, the Council found that all of them were either unsuitable or unfeasible(external link). Some were on patches of poor land that would require an extra cost to complete the building foundations, and other possible sites were in places that would prevent any future expansion of the replacement QEII Recreation and Sport Centre. With no alternative site options, a follow-up letter and information leaflet was distributed to local residents and submitters, including details of the Community Board meeting and how to make a deputation.

Can the existing Christchurch School of Gymnastics building be repaired or rebuilt where it is?

The building is no longer fit for purpose for gymnastics activities, with earthquake damage meaning some sections of the building can no longer be used by the public, as well as significantly higher operating costs. Because of damage to the land underneath the facility, most of it would need to be rebuilt completely, with the ground underneath the entire building in need of remediation – which would be too expensive.

What sort of impact would this project have on QEII Park?

The Coastal-Burwood Community Board has a strong interest in the visual appeal of QEII Park, and will have a say in landscaping of the area and the look of the building. A row of trees between the sports fields would need to be removed to create space, and will be replaced with new trees planted near the site. The current car park will still be able to be used for the new facility.

What would happen to the current building?

It's hoped that a suitable tenant can be found to take up the lease, which will mean the building doesn't need to be demolished. The tenant’s needs would need to be appropriate for the building’s current capacity – this would include filling in the foam pits, removing the mezzanine floor and not requiring the space to be well-heated.

What are the next steps for QEII Park?

When councillors approved the sale of a section of QEII Park to the Ministry of Education on 23 June 2016, it was resolved to, "allocate the proceeds from the sale of land towards the development and implementation of a Masterplan for the rest of QEII Park." The sale price was $4.5 million.

The Coastal–Burwood Community Board is working with Council staff to ensure that this plan is developed with community input, and considers things such as

  • What principles will define the nature and character of the park to meet the community’s needs.
  • What the community wants to see on the park (e.g. walking paths, a golf course, etc.)

Why was this lease considered ahead of the development of the Masterplan?

CSG has been based at its current location at QEII for 21 years. After its facility was damaged in the earthquakes, repairs were undertaken in early 2013 to give the school an opportunity to continue its programmes while decisions on the future site of the new facility could be made. Approximately $196,000 was spent to bring the facility up to 63 per cent of the New Building Standard. CSG’s decision to remain at QEII Park was supported by a detailed Business Case and by the Council’s Recreation and Sports Unit, which has been closely working with CSG for some time now to help find an appropriate location. The new CSG site has been identified now because of the increased operating costs outlined above, and to secure funding for the project, which required certainty around a site before it could become available. It will also allow early construction earthworks to take place over the drier summer months.

Artist rendering of the QEII Recreation and Sport Centre

Artist rendering of the new QEII Recreation and Sport Centre (February 2017)

Work began on 17 January 2017(external link), creating the eagerly awaited 5500 square metre facility which will return swimming and fitness amenities to QEII Park.

The new centre is expected to open in mid-2018 and will include:

  • Leisure pools
  • 25x25 metre lap pool
  • Learn to Swim pool
  • Lazy river
  • Water adventure playground
  • Spa pool
  • Steamroom and sauna
  • Toddlers' pool
  • Hydrotherapy pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Spin room
  • Hydroslide
  • Café
  • Studio
  • Meeting room
  • Ample space for car and cycle parking.

View the new QEII floorplan(external link)

The project is the first sign of construction in QEII Park as it enters a busy period of redevelopment. The Ministry of Education is also set to begin the relocation of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools to QEII Park in 2017.

Project updates

June 2017

Contractors have finished removing the last of the asbestos-contaminated material that was found during the demolition of the earthquake-damaged QEII Stadium in 2012. Read more.(external link)

April 2017

Thanks to savings found elsewhere in the project’s budget, a warm water hydrotherapy pool has been added to the plans for the new QEII Recreation and Sport Centre. Read more(external link).

January 2017

A sod-turning ceremony was held to mark start of work, including the handing over of a sapling in conjunction with Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri. The ceremony set the stage for Apollo Projects to begin work on the site in earnest. Read more.(external link)

November 2016

On 2 November 2016, Christchurch City Council chose Apollo Projects Ltd to build the new QEII Recreation and Sport Centre, with work scheduled to start onsite in December 2016. Read more.(external link)

June 2016

The sale of 11.5 hectares of Council-owned land at QEII Park to the Ministry of Education was approved on 23 June 2016. The Ministry will use the land, which is in the southeast corner of the park, for the relocation of Avonside Girls' and Shirley Boys' High Schools. Read more.(external link)

May 2016

Plans to return pools and fitness facilities to QEII Park have taken another step forward with the release on 27 May of an initial concept design for the new recreation and sport centre. Warren and Mahoney have done the initial concept design for the new centre, which will be located in the heart of QEII Park and cover 4537 square metres.

Accommodated within the concept design are leisure pools, a lazy river, a lap pool, a water adventure playground, a spa pool, toddlers and learn-to-swim pools, a hydroslide, steam rooms and saunas, as well as a fitness centre and café. Ample parking is also provided for cars and cycles. Read more.(external link)

2 March 2016

The community has had another say in the ongoing development of QEII Park, this time on the proposal to sell a piece of land in the park to the Ministry of Education, which went out for public consultation on Wednesday 2 March. Read the Media Release(external link).

10 December 2015

Christchurch City Council has approved a range of water toys and other leisure attractions for residents of all ages that will feature in the new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre on QEII Park.

The Council agreed with a Burwood–Pegasus Community recommendation to go ahead with a range of water toys that were the most popular choices among residents who responded to the recent Your Play, Your Say campaign.

The six-week Your Play, Your Say campaign finished on 30 October and gave residents the chance to have their say about the water toys and other leisure attractions they would like to see in the new facility when it opens in 2018.

The water toys are:

  • A hydroslide
  • A water adventure playground
  • A toddlers' pool
  • A lazy river with strong jets
  • Leisure water area with beach entry
  • Aqua toys
  • Inflatable water toys

The Council also approved a revised scope for the new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre. The Burwood–Pegasus Community Board recommended a number of changes to the scope that was approved in June this year, following feedback received during the Your Play, Your Say campaign. The recommendations include reducing the moveable floor to half the pool area; increasing the size of the learners'/warm water pool to a 25 metre by 10 metre pool; increasing the number of multi-function wet/dry rooms and changing the design of the spa pool.

Other features in the original scope that will remain the same include a 25 metre 10-lane pool; a toddlers' pool area; a learn to swim pool; spa pool; steam room and sauna; fitness centre; spin rooms and café.

The water toys and the revised scope will now be presented to architects from Warren and Mahoney, who are currently working on the concept design for the new facility.

17 September 2015