More than $40 billion is being ploughed into Christchurch, transforming New Zealand’s oldest city into its newest.
Speaking today at Get Global in Sydney, ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau Bid Manager Claire Hector-Taylor says this compact, attractive city is an ideal meeting destination.
“Christchurch is a future-focused city boasting major infrastructure developments, including a new convention centre due to be completed in late 2019. We are the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island with a top international airport just 15 minutes from the city.”
Famed as the Garden City, the CBD is now home to new green spaces with the Ōtākaro/Avon River precinct as its centrepiece, creating a beautiful walking environment.
“Christchurch is all about pedestrian-friendly shopping, dining, arts and entertainment,” she says.
New Zealand’s second largest city is home to world-class universities, Crown research facilities, start-up accelerators, and specialist innovation and health precincts.
“Here we are bringing together people from all over the world with interests in Christchurch’s specialist areas of expertise, including earth sciences, health sciences, agriculture, food science, international education, building and environmental technology.”
With Christchurch’s proximity to the beautiful Canterbury region and as gateway to the magnificent South Island, Christchurch is investing in the conference sector by building a world-class boutique convention centre of major architectural significance for up to 2000 delegates on a prime riverfront CBD site, developed by the New Zealand Government.
The Christchurch Centre has been designed by international firm Woods Bagot and promises to be a landmark facility of outstanding architectural significance. Its central riverside location, cultural and heritage references, and flexible design layout are key features.
The Christchurch Centre’s tiered 1400-delegate auditorium will be ideal for large plenary sessions, and can be scaled to allow two events to run concurrently. It is complemented by break-out space in flexible meeting rooms. The purpose-built banquet area has separate capacity to host the total number of convention delegates. An exhibition hall supports the exhibition component of conventions, while public circulation space allows for informal meetings and comfortable pre-event gathering spaces. Support infrastructure includes dedicated offices for professional conference organisers, a hospitality lounge, boardroom, crew room and speaker preparation rooms.
The rebirth of Christchurch doesn’t stop with the Convention Centre. The Crowne Plaza hotel has returned to Christchurch this July, in a new location right opposite the convention centre development. It is the largest upscale hotel in the CBD with 204 modern rooms, a café, bar and restaurants and four modern event spaces. Two more new hotels will add 400 rooms to Christchurch in the coming months, including Novotel Christchurch Airport, and Distinction Hotel Christchurch.
River-facing hospitality precincts and the major shopping areas are nearly complete and will be open this spring.