Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre officially opens

Australasia News
Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre officially opens

The New Zealand based association Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) has celebrated the opening of its first new-generation Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, 17 December.

Set on the Ōtakaro Avon river in the city centre, Te Pae Christchurch features 24 meeting rooms, including a 1,000-seat riverside banquet room, up to 3,300sqm of exhibition space and a 1,400-seat auditorium able to be configured into two autonomous spaces.

Lisa Hopkins, chief executive of BEIA, commented: “Business events will be at the forefront of New Zealand’s economic re-opening to the world because of the clear value they bring socially and economically. Te Pae signals a promising future despite the current challenges, with strong domestic bookings in the first year, and bookings from international markets, particularly Australia.”

Hopkins added: “It is a credit to the Crown who developed this magnificent space, and to ASM Global who are running it for the future with a long-term view.”

John Bridgman, chief executive of the Crown-owned company Ōtākaro, stated: “At almost NZ$450m (US$300m), the convention centre represents the New Zealand government’s single biggest contribution to the regeneration of Christchurch.”

Te Pae has aimed to celebrate the region’s bicultural heritage as a piece of civic architecture. Its design was created to reflect sensitivity to the place of Ngāi Tūāhuriri / Ngāi Tahu, the Indigenous peoples of the region.

Puamiria Parata-Goodall, a descendent of these people who advised the architectural team on cultural values and narratives in the design process, stated: “The ancestral bones of the Ngāi Tahu people are in this land. Across the rebuilt city, the new Ōtautahi (Christchurch) reflects both its Ngāi Tahu and European history. Māori language, art and stories are recognised and celebrated like they haven’t been before.”

Te Pae is designed by Woods Bagot, the Australian-based architectural and consulting practice. Bruno Mendes, principal of Woods Bagot, added: “Stitching the building into the city’s new urban sensibility is essential for local vitality and the delegates attending events, many for whom Te Pae will offer their first experience of Christchurch. There are very specific moves to make the building engage strongly with what’s around it.”

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