Disappointment for Canterbury sports groups

by Sam Broughton

November has been a busy month in Selwyn.

It was a great honour for me to perform the role of Chieftain at the Hororata Highland Games on November 11.

The event is a unique mix of Kiwi flair and Scottish tradition and it was fantastic to see competitors and event-goers alike getting involved in the day’s activities with gusto.

This past weekend I attended the annual Courtenay A&P Show at the Kirwee Showgrounds. Like the other A&P Shows around our region, the Courtenay Show has a long history, with this year being the 142nd time the event has been held.

In contrast to this, the following day I opened a brand new event for Selwyn – the Selwyn Motor Fest.

This successful event in Rolleston attracted vehicle enthusiasts from around the South Island and raised funds for our local St John.

I understand that there are plans to make this an annual fixture which will add to the variety of events available for our communities to enjoy. On a less positive note, I am disappointed by the decision of the new Government to halt progress on the Metro Sports Facility.

The Government’s claims that the project is expected to exceed its budget by $75 million are misleading.

Much of the $75m is an estimate to cover risk and given the ground conditions in Christchurch and the experience gained by contractors working in these conditions on the Justice Precinct, this is not surprising.

The risk-sharing component may never need to be paid if the contract goes well, but public sector financing rules require it to be entered on the books.

Unfortunately the Government’s decision will further delay the completion of the project, and may result in our region not getting the world-class facilities our sporting groups were expecting.