$20 million investment OKed for Christchurch Adventure Park

Excavation work is happening on the Port Hills at the site of the Christchurch Adventure Park.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Excavation work is happening on the Port Hills at the site of the Christchurch Adventure Park.

A $20 million investment in an adventure park on Christchurch's Port Hills has gained Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval.

The park, the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, would provide "substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand", through additional jobs and the introduction of considerable development investment, the OIO decision said.

Work began on the park in March, the day after the OIO decision was made, however, the determination has only just been made public.

A line on the Port Hills has been cleared to make way for the chairlift at the Christchurch Adventure Park as work ...
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAX NZ

A line on the Port Hills has been cleared to make way for the chairlift at the Christchurch Adventure Park as work continues on the $20 million development.

The decision shows 52.85 per cent of the development was being funded by overseas interests. The remaining 47.15 per cent was from within New Zealand, including Christchurch City Council, which held a 14.29 per cent stake in the development, after contributing $2m to the project.

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Various New Zealand individuals, who were not named, made up 32.86 per cent of investors. 

Fiona Sutton, founder and chairwoman of Select Evolution, the Canadian company developing the park, has a 21 per cent stake. Jianping Wang, of Beijing-based development and construction company Huadu​ International Group, has a 14.28 per cent interest, after contributing $2m through NewUrban Group.

Jeremy and Philippa Fry, of Canada, each have a 4.5 per cent investment and "various overseas persons" make up the remaining 8.57 per cent, according to the OIO.

The park, located on 358 hectares of forested land between Dyers Pass, Worsleys and Summit roads, would include more than 100 kilometres of downhill mountain bike routes, a 1.8km chairlift that would take people up 435 vertical metres, 2km of zip lines through the forest, rock climbing, and a cafe bar seating up to 180 people.

Construction of five lodges, and 14 cottages accommodating 252 people and a mountain coaster, would be built within two or three years, during stage two.

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The park, which was expected to open in December, would employ a 120 full-time and part-time workers.

OIO group manager Annelies McClure said Leisure Investments NZ Ltd Partnership, had been granted consent to lease the 358ha. The lease was expected to cost $10.6m over the 50-year lease term. 

OIO also granted the company consent to purchase the land at a cost of $10m.

Work on the park was on track, following favourable weather conditions, a Christchurch Adventure Park spokeswoman said.

The lift line up the hill has been cleared and trail builders have been marking out the high speed and coaching trails. The diggers were about to start digging out those trails.

The access road has been upgraded and the area which would house the main base has been cleared.

Groundwork for the towers was expected to start this month. The towers were being manufactured in Austria and were expected to be erected in September.

 - Stuff

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