20,000 supporters for New Brighton water park
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for a water park with hot spas, wavepools and hydroslides to be built at New Brighton.
It took just three weeks to amass the signatures, which New Brighton resident David East says shows the high level of community support for the project.
East and Tim Sintes, both members of the Burwood-Pegasus Community Board, are the driving force behind the proposed water park. Many believe the park could rescue New Brighton from decline and put it back on the map.
Their petition, presented to Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker on Monday, calls for a water park to be incorporated into the New Brighton Master Plan, something city councillor Peter Beck, who represents the Burwood-Pegasus ward, supports.
With community backing for the proposal running high, the Christchurch City Council should look at how a water park could be incorporated into its rebuild plans for the seaside suburb, Beck said.
"It's a really exciting idea that is grabbing people not just in New Brighton and in the east but across the city. I think it's important we take the idea and really look at how we could make it happen," he said yesterday.
The council had about $30 million set aside in its budget for an aquatic centre on the eastern side of the city and the Prime Minister's Earthquake Appeal Trust had $37m left in its coffers which it intended to spend on longer-term legacy projects such as community facilities.
If those funds were tapped and money secured from the private investors who had expressed interest in the project, then a water park in New Brighton could become a reality.
"A heck of a lot is happening in the central city, and that's great, but in terms of the wider city we need to get some runs on the board," Beck said. "Here is an opportunity for an area that was very badly damaged to get something really great."
East said costings he and Sintes has done suggested the water park could be built for about $30m but with land purchases taken into account, it was likely the project would cost about $50m.