A new temporary stadium with seating for 17,000 will be built in Christchurch for major sporting and cultural events.
"The new temporary stadium will allow Cantabrians to experience the excitement of Crusaders and Canterbury ITM Cup home games again as well as Phoenix football matches, rugby league games, other major sporting events, concerts and festival events," says Mr Key.
"I'm thrilled the New Zealand Rugby Union has also announced today our world champion All Blacks will play a test match against Ireland at the new venue in June next year.
"Restoring the opportunity for Cantabrians to support their major sporting teams is an important part of the recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch," says Mr Key.
"Cantabrians have had to endure so much over the past 14 months, with the series of earthquakes meaning they missed out on hosting any Rugby World Cup matches and all of the Crusaders' and Canterbury ITM Cup home games this year.
"Today's announcement about the new stadium is fantastic news after it was decided a few months ago that the badly damaged AMI Stadium would be closed for all of 2012 as engineering assessments continue."
Construction will start on Rugby League Park next week and is expected to be completed by March next year, in time for the 2012 Super Rugby season and the Crusaders’ first home game.
The new temporary stadium will be built on Rugby League Park in Addington, and will include undercover seating for 8500 people and corporate hosting facilities, Mr Key says.
The $20 million cost for the temporary stadium will be underwritten by the Government, with funding support from the Christchurch City Council and the New Zealand Rugby Union. Funding support will also be sought from corporate sponsors and the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust.
The new temporary stadium will be run by a Trust and will have a lifespan of three to five years.