Convention Centre design gives Christchurch the edge

Posted 05 Apr 2017 by TourismChCh Featured Popular
Posted in CBD , CERA/Govt , Rebuild , Positive , CCDU

Convention Centre design gives Christchurch the edge

The Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) is welcoming designs for the new Christchurch Convention Centre, scheduled for completion in late 2019.

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CCCB Manager, Caroline Blanchfield says the striking design, set in a stunning central location, will give Christchurch a distinct edge.
“The Christchurch Convention Centre is going to be the facility we always wanted, designed for both locals and visitors, attracting new and exciting public exhibitions, business meetings and gala functions to large multi-day conventions,” she says.
“Its setting on the city’s waterfront overlooking Victoria Square and with links to Cathedral Square makes it distinctive and welcoming for everyone. It is something we can be proud of.

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“Our city’s links to the heart of the South Island, and cultural and heritage stories from Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu are woven through every aspect of the design.”
Christchurch dropped to two per cent of the New Zealand market share for large multi-day conventions in 2011, and since then has been stalled at nine per cent. Prior to the earthquakes, Christchurch held 24 per cent of the market.
“The new convention centre will give us the capacity to reach that level again. Right now, we have few options for CBD venues catering for 500 plus with multiple breakout spaces,” she says.


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International convention delegates spend twice as much as other international visitors, often extend their visit to the rest of the South Island, and are likely to return for holidays in the future.
“The downstream benefits of having this convention centre are all the linkages that hosting international conferences have, such as building profile for our tertiary institutions, and profiling our city and region. Having strong tertiary and research institutions encourages more students, more students need jobs, which in turn gives us a vibrant city core.”

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Release from Otakaro Limited

Background information:

  • The Christchurch Convention Centre will be capable of hosting up to 2000 delegates for a variety of national and international events. It will include a 1400 delegate auditorium, a 3,600m exhibition hall and 1,600m of meeting rooms that will overlook Victoria Square.


  • Crown company Ōtākaro Limited is building the new venue. Architects Woods Bagot has worked on the design with Matapopore Charitable Trust.


  • The main entrance to the Centre opens out to Oxford Terrace and the Avon River, and has been designed to reflect the fluid curves of Canterbury’s braided rivers. This gives visitors easy access to Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and creates a space for civic powhiri and welcoming to events.


  • The Armagh and Colombo Street sides are straighter to reinforce the traditional edges of Victoria Square and Cathedral Square. The Colombo Street side will be lined with hospitality and retail outlets and space has been created for the potential construction of a hotel that would further increase the level of activity around Cathedral Square. 


  • Armagh Street will include areas for public use designed to encourage people to linger and enjoy the view of Victoria Square. 


  • A practical completion date of late 2019 is being targeted.

About CCCB

  • The Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) is a membership-based business unit within Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. It is dedicated to marketing and promoting business events and business tourism in Canterbury.


  • The bureau offers a free service to help business event planners, buyers, and conference and incentive professionals put together successful events, and find unique experiences and locations with the right venues and activities.


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