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or the year end at June 2018,
Christchurch and the Canterbury
region in the South Island of New
Zealand recorded an eight per
cent market share of all business events held
in the country.
Putting that another way, the city and
region hosted 4897 events which was almost
200 more than the previous year.
No doubt part of the reason behind that –
obviously aside from the exceptional work
the convention bureau has been doing – is
the opening of new conference infrastructure.
“Distinction Hotel opened in April this year
and the Christchurch Town Hall is reopening
in the first quarter of 2019, and there are
other developments in the pipeline to support
our key conference infrastructure,” the
“We are seeing strong interest with both
domestic and international conferences for
the coming year and our key venues are
telling us they have strong forward bookings.”
What’s really exciting for the local business
event community is that the new convention
centre, Te Pae, is on track for a likely October
2020 opening with 20 per cent of works already complete.
Spanning two blocks of prime land right in the heart of the city, the main entrance will open
out to Christchurch’s picturesque Avon River. Its design reflects the fluid curves of the South
Island’s braided rivers, and complements the green spaces, heritage square and gardens
The name Te Pae draws inspiration from several relevant uses in Te Reo Mãori. Te Pae
Maunga means “our mountain views”. The source of Maori origin and central to their land and
people, mountains are a key element on the southern landscape, just as Te Pae is a central
point within Christchurch city. Te Pae Whenua means “the vast plains we inhabit”. Maori have
strong ties to mountains and the rivers and plains they create. It is only natural, therefore, this
influence can be found in the building’s design, where shapes and lines represent the contours
of the Southern Alps and braided rivers of Canterbury. Finally, Te Pae Tangata means “a place to
meet and converse”.
Part of Christchurch’s appeal aside from its beauty and easy access is that the city is so
compact meaning that visiting delegates, who may be used to daily commutes on buses and
trains, can walk from venue to venue.
“The city provides a unique proposition in terms of a city rebuilding itself after a natural
disaster, and we have conferences coming here because we can share our experiences, our
technology and innovation in certain areas of expertise such as earth science, health science,
agriculture, building technology, international education and ICT/innovation,” the bureau says.
“We have a strong university presence in the city and we have world leaders in their fields of
expertise, meaning fantastic learning opportunities and knowledge transfer for international
conference delegates as well as legacy opportunities for the city.
“Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand’s spectacular South Island, meaning delegates
The local convention bureau tells us they’re on an upward curve with
business events. And that looks set to continue.
CONFERENCING Spring has sprung in
Hagley Park, Christchurch.
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Talk to us before planning
your next conference or event.
+64 27 535 2253
ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau
Local knowledge. Better outcomes.
can attend a conference here in Christchurch and then experience a diverse range of options in
pre or post touring.”
What should also be of interest to meeting planners is that the Christchurch Town Hall will be
reopening in the first quarter of 2019. While this is predominantly a world-class performing arts
venue, it will also double as a fantastic conference space.
It is centrally located in the heart of the city, right across from Victoria Square as well as hotel
accommodation and hospitality and entertainment precincts. It is also located close to Te Pae, with
plans that both venues will work in conjunction with one another for large international conferences.
There are currently more than 2500 hotel rooms in the central city and several new hotel
projects are underway or planned for the
coming few years, ensuring plentiful central
city accommodation across all star levels for
There are also a raft of new retail and
hospitality hubs opening in the CBD, as well
as significant entertainment, performing arts
and sports facilities opening in the coming
few years. m
Busy Regent Street
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