Wellington set to build new Conference and Exhibition Centre

New Zealand's capital city has been given the green light for a new Conference and Exhibition Centre (CEC).

Wellington City Council has approved a new Conference and Exhibition Centre, with the construction of the 18,000sqm venue to start in 2019.

The building will incorporate 10,000sqm of dedicated convention space spread across its top two floors and a 1,650 sqm ground-floor exhibition gallery for touring exhibitions.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) regional development destination and attraction general manager David Perks said: "Wellington has always been competitive with the conference venues available in the city but the WCEC will take things to a new level.

"It will enable the city to not only retain its current share of conferences but also put in bids for larger international conferences that would simply have been too big for existing venues.

"It will put us on an equal footing with Auckland and Christchurch who both have conference venues under construction and the Australian market where all major cities have purpose-built convention facilities.

"It will also allow Wellington’s core performance venues such as the Opera House and Michael Fowler Centre to focus entirely on performance events. This will help increase the number and variety of live concerts and shows being staged in Wellington."

Mr Perks says the business events market is currently worth around $240 million in New Zealand dollars to the city and is one of the most lucrative within Wellington’s tourism portfolio.

Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) CEC business case reveals the new convention centre would host 111 new events each year, bringing nearly 149,000 new delegate days to Wellington. That would be 16% growth. 

The BERL report also showed the convention and exhibition spaces would contribute a $90.6 million in New Zealand dollars of annual spend, adding $44.8m to Wellington’s GDP while creating 554 new jobs.

It also showed the three-year construction phase would generate an additional $171m spend, contribute $76m GDP to Wellington’s economy, and create 864 jobs.

Tourism New Zealand’s Global Business Events Manager, Anna Fennessy says the development of a large-scale conference venue is a huge win for Wellington. 

She said: "International business events deliver a range of benefits beyond the significant economic contributions they provide to the local economy.

"They have the potential to generate long-lasting positive social change in our communities through the expert knowledge delegates bring with them and they allow Kiwis to share their expertise and knowledge too."

The CEC was designed by Wellington-based Studio Pacific Architecture. Principal architect Daryl Calder said the design draws its inspiration from many sources including Wellington’s harbour, its famed wild weather, hilly landscape and Maori mythology, particularly Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Maui (Maui’s head of the fish).

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
How to stop fake news ruining your event

How to stop fake news ruining your event

False information travels much quicker than the truth so make sure you're ready to act fast, says expert at IBTM World in Barcelona.

Tips for succeeding in a crisis from Thailand cave rescue diver

Tips for succeeding in a crisis from Thailand cave rescue diver

British cave diver involved in the 2018 Tham Luang rescue explains how he solves problems in steps and stays calm under pressure.

4 days left to answer our corporate event planner survey and win a luxury hotel stay

4 days left to answer our corporate event planner survey and win a luxury hotel stay

Complete our quick 10-minute survey to win a stay for two with Iconic Luxury Hotels and inform our State of the Industry report.

SDI Meetings and Incentives appoints new president

SDI Meetings and Incentives appoints new president

Chicago-based agency makes leadership change but former president will continue in role as company founder.

8 essential steps for event marketing

8 essential steps for event marketing

Delegates at IBTM World in Barcelona got some tips from MPI to create a smart promotional strategy.

The unstoppable growth of esports events

The unstoppable growth of esports events

CEO of Excel Esports explains why the audience for gaming and esports events is only getting bigger.

New head of live events for HGA

New head of live events for HGA

Manchester-based events agency makes several appointments after a year of record revenue.

IBTM World Trends Watch 2020: 'The changing face of delegates'

IBTM World Trends Watch 2020: 'The changing face of delegates'

Report identifies global MICE trends in areas such as technology, sustainability and incentive travel.

In pictures: Villa Copenhagen opening in 2020

In pictures: Villa Copenhagen opening in 2020

Central post office built in 1912 has been restored to house the new 390-room hotel that can host events for 1,200 attendees.

Strata brings in a dozen new recruits

Strata brings in a dozen new recruits

Agency hires 12 people across all departments, including client services director Laura Awcock.

LATEST JOBS