WHoW wave garden in Christchurch New Zealand

Olympic-level aquasports park looks to Kaiapoi location.

A group previously proposing a world-leading aquasports park for the Christchurch residential red zone is turning its sights to Kaiapoi due to the efforts of Enterprise North Canterbury.

The WHoW Charitable Trust is looking to co-locate whitewater, surf and cable wakeboard parks in one location alongside the Kaiapoi River in the residential red zone.

WHoW Trust chair, Tony Joseph, says investigating Kaiapoi makes a lot of sense.

“Enterprise North Canterbury approached us asking if we would consider Kaiapoi. The case they put to us was compelling. That, coupled with ongoing uncertainties around building in the Christchurch red zone, made it logical to investigate Kaiapoi in more detail,”

Joseph indicated that the group hasn’t completely ruled out the Christchurch red zone just yet.

“We’re only at the preliminary feasibility stage and there are still many hurdles to jump.” says Joseph.

Enterprise North Canterbury’s role is to attract businesses and visitors to the Waimakariri District and have worked closely with WHoW to consider Kaiapoi. Waimakariri District Council have been assisting the charitable trust to complete early feasibility work on the proposed location.

“Globally, water sports have a huge following. Participants happily travel nationally or internationally to experience facilities such as this. Combined with other adventure offerings within Canterbury it makes our region a very compelling place to visit.” says Miles Dalton, Enterprise North Canterbury business support manager.

Simon Markham, Waimakariri District Council manager strategy and engagement, says “This proposal is closely aligned with the regeneration remit we’ve been given by the community and we’re excited to be working with the trust to see if this might work in our district.”

All parties hope the facility can be developed quickly.

Surfing is now an Olympic sport and this facility, which could become the only wave garden in New Zealand, would provide a much-needed training facility for New Zealand and Pacific Island qualifying athletes.

The aquasports park would provide water lovers with perfect waves, whitewater and cable wake at any time of year, and would be within easy reach of Christchurch International Airport and main transport routes.

A Give A Little campaign is being launched next week to assist the trust with raising funds to complete the preliminary feasibility work. The Enterprise North Canterbury Board have already committed some funding towards the project, believing it would be a great visitor attraction and business to have in North Canterbury.

More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/WaiHukaoWaitaha/

Video link: https://vimeo.com/353296892

Image by @dane_creighton

Surfer @avaa.surf

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