Te Kaha

Christchurch, New Zealand
This landmark multi-use venue will make Christchurch the cultural focal point of New Zealand’s South Island and a new global destination for sports and entertainment.

Set for completion in 2026, construction is well underway on Te Kaha, a world-class multi-use arena that is being built under the guidance of the Kōtui consortium, led by multidisciplinary contractor BESIX Watpac and supported by Mott MacDonald, Warren and Mahoney and Populous. We are bringing our expertise in global stadium design to the $683 million project, ensuring a fan experience that will rival any other in the country — and the world beyond. 

Our team is working hard to design a venue that is a flexible, urban multi-use arena within a thriving precinct for the community to enjoy memorable events and important celebrations.

Chris Paterson, Populous Director

Boasting a capacity of 30,000 seats for sport, the arena will have the option of expansion during special events. Te Kaha’s flexible layout will accommodate a diverse range of events, from high-intensity rugby and football matches to concerts from the biggest names in music. The hospitality offering includes 23 food and beverage outlets and three feature bars, with local companies providing food and drink. Wandering around the lower concourse, fans will be able to see right through to the field of play, bringing the excitement and energy of the event out into these spaces. 

To keep spectators comfortable during matches and concerts, we have designed Te Kaha with a permanently fixed roof, so it can be used throughout the year, whatever the weather. Ordinarily, this would mean the need for an artificial playing surface inside. However, Populous previously designed Forsyth Barr Stadium, the world’s first permanently covered stadium to have a natural grass playing field. Thanks to the knowledge we developed during that project, Te Kaha will be the second. Cutting-edge materials used in the roof will allow natural light onto the field, while computer modeling has been used to ensure enough light gets through for grass to grow healthily — particularly from the northern end, which has been designed to maximise sunlight in winter. 

Christchurch is located near two active seismic faults, the Christchurch Fault and Port Hills Fault. The Kōtui consortium has been faced with the challenge of designing the stadium so that it can withstand seismic activity, not just once it’s completed, but also during construction. This has meant the incorporation of several earthquake mitigating technologies. 

Te Kaha is set to receive Toitū carbon mark and enviromark certification, thanks to several innovative sustainability features. Solar panels form part of an energy strategy that will make the stadium an all-electric venue, with no gas on site. There will also be charging stations for electric vehicles, and over 20,000 square metres of vegetation across the site, creating an urban forest and green spaces for the local community. 

Whether a grand spectacle or an intimate community gathering, Te Kaha has the adaptability to host events of all scales and will be the home of unforgettable experiences in the Canterbury Region. 


11 items.
  • Chris Paterson Senior Principal, Director Brisbane
  • Joshua Robson Principal, Architect Sydney
  • Andrew Rieper Senior Associate, Architectural Designer Christchurch
  • Chris Hutchison Senior Associate, Architectural Graduate Brisbane
  • Daniel Bartlett Senior Associate, Architectural Graduate Brisbane
  • Ben Stacey Senior Associate, Architect Brisbane
  • Sean Chidgey Associate, Architectural Graduate Brisbane
  • Karen Halagao Architectural Graduate Sydney
  • Nathan Tobeck Principal, Regional Digital Lead – APAC Brisbane
  • Daniel Joseph Associate, BIM Coordinator Brisbane
  • Sebastian Chu Architectural Graduate, Computational Designer Sydney

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