Seats at Christchurch's ghostly quake damaged Lancaster Park proving popular for salvage ahead of deconstruction

Lancaster Park Stadium seats are proving to be popular among sporting and community groups who have put their hands up for 21,000 of the Christchurch stadium's 30,000 seats ahead of its deconstruction. 

Parts of much-loved stadium such as "charis, tables, lighting fixtures, roller doors and gates" are about to be re-homed.

The seat salvaging is set to start next month. 

Christchurch City Council approved the deconstruction of the stadium in March after a report released last year from a quantity surveying firm concluded repairing the park to a standard where it could host international rugby Test matches would cost between $252 million and $275 million.

Lancaster Park was the home of Canterbury Rugby before the quakes and hosted numerous domestic and international rugby matches.

With demolition set to begin in December and expected to take 12 to 14 months to complete, the council is continuing its search for new owners to take home parts of the stadium which can be salvaged.

Last month, community and sporting groups were invited to outline to the council what they would like from the stadium, how they would benefit from the recovered items and advise how they could assist in the cost to salvage the item they want if permission is granted. 

"We had a great response, with more than 40 submissions coming in," said Darren Burden, General Manager of Vbase, the venue management company that owns the stadium.

"There's been a lot of interest in obtaining seats from the stadium but we've also had requests for other things like rugby gear, lighting tower heads, roller doors, display cabinets, showers and toilets.

"People have also put in requests for items of a more sentimental nature that they feel a special attachment to. We’re working through all the requests and hope to reply to everyone by the end of this month," Mr Burden said.

So many memories were forged here. Take one last peek inside the grand old lady of Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS


Saudi woman arrested for wearing a skirt released by authorities after backlash

Saudi Arabia announced today that a woman who was detained after wearing a miniskirt in a video that went viral has been released without charge.

The decision not to press charges was a rare win for supporters of women's rights in Saudi Arabia, who criticised the public outcry against her.

It also comes as Saudi Arabia overhauls its prosecution system under a new, young heir to the throne who has taken steps to try and modernise the country and its public image.

The viral video and the reaction to it in Saudi Arabia prompted police to bring the woman in for questioning for wearing "immodest clothes" in violation of the kingdom's conservative Islamic dress code.

Her release from detention without charge suggests that the subsequent international attention brought to the case may have helped lead to her quick release.

Some women fleeing allegedly abusive families have languished in prison without charge, and others in the past have been imprisoned for defying Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving.

The young woman drew attention over the weekend when the video appeared online showing her walking in a historic village north of the capital, Riyadh, wearing a miniskirt and crop top, and showing her hair.

Saudi rules require all women living in the kingdom, including foreigners, to wear long, loose robes known as abayas in public. Most Saudi women also wear a headscarf and veil that covers the face.

A statement released by the centre for International Communication said police released the woman, who was not named.

It says she was released Tuesday evening (Wednesday NZT) after a few hours of questioning and that she told investigators that the video posted on social media was published without her knowledge.

"She was released without charge and the case has been closed by the prosecutor," the statement said.

It is common in Saudi Arabia to see heavily blurred or pixelated images of women's faces on billboards and storefronts - in stark contrast to the many towering images of senior male royals displayed across the country.

Despite such government controls, more than half of Saudi Arabia's population is under 25 and many are active on social media where they can access the internet and bypass government censors.

Twitter is wildly popular among Saudis as a place to vent frustrations and gauge public opinion.

Conservatives and others angered by the video took to Twitter, writing that she violated rules and should be arrested to set an example.

Others rushed to her defence, questioning why the video had sparked such outrage when violations that affect human rights, for example, have not led to similarly fierce internal debate.