17 Dec 2021

The city’s new convention centre, Te Pae Christchurch, has officially opened and already it has about 100 confirmed bookings for next year.

“At almost $450 million, this stunning convention centre represents the Government’s single biggest contribution to the regeneration of Christchurch,” says John Bridgman, Chief Executive of Ōtākaro Limited, the Crown company that owns the facility and that has overseen its construction.

Inside Te Pae Christchurch.

“With capacity to host 2000 people, Te Pae Christchurch will attract significant national and international business events that our city hasn’t been able to host in the past. It will also be an outstanding facility for locals, hosting expos, gala dinners and other celebrations. This is a special venue for our special events.’’

Mr Bridgman says even allowing for the impact of COVID-19 on the travel and meetings sectors, it is anticipated that Te Pae Christchurch will inject about $60 million a year into the local economy.

Te Pae Christchurch has been built and designed by CPB Contractors, Woods Bagot with Warren and Mahoney, and Kamo Marsh, Holmes Consulting, WSP and Tonkin & Taylor, in consultation with Matapopore.

“Many convention centres look and feel like small boxes, with no natural light. Here you have expansive views over the Avon River and the greenery of Victoria Square. Over three million labour-hours have gone into the construction, and I think everyone involved in creating this iconic facility should be very proud,” says Mr Bridgman.

Te Pae Christchurch General Manager, Ross Steele, says Te Pae Christchurch has about 100 confirmed events in 2022, including more than 50 multi-day conferences that will collectively bring more than 70,000 people into the city.

“Most of the large events are taking place from March to November, which will support Ōtautahi Christchurch’s visitor infrastructure during the traditional quieter months.

“Our delegates will stay in hotels, dine out, use local transport, go shopping, visit local attractions and bring their accompanying partners and families with them to travel around the region before or after their event,” Mr Steele says.

As well as the conferences, Te Pae Christchurch will also host a number of public exhibitions, live entertainment events, banquets and smaller meetings and seminars in 2022, with a solid roster of events also leading into 2023 and beyond.

“While our primary aim is to support the growth and success of our city and region through direct economic benefit, we are also here to provide social and legacy benefits to residents.

"We’ll be opening up Te Pae Christchurch to the public on 13 February 2022 and I encourage everyone to come along, check out their new gathering place and hear about how we will make a real difference to Christchurch.”