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
Judges announced for 2019 C&IT Awards

Judges announced for 2019 C&IT Awards

This year's awards in partnership with Business Events Australia will return to the Hilton on Park Lane.

Corporate Travel Management Europe hires director of client services

Corporate Travel Management Europe hires director of client services

David Di Feliciantonio moves from Flight Centre to a new role with CTM Europe managing business growth and development.

'Hard work mixed with a bit of personality gets you everywhere'

'Hard work mixed with a bit of personality gets you everywhere'

A-List 2019: Dan Solen, events director at GOTO Events.

Case study: Charity Film Awards at 133 Houndsditch

Case study: Charity Film Awards at 133 Houndsditch

Etc venues worked with Iconify to produce an evening of awards and entertainment hosted by Sally Phillips.

ICCA reveals new destination rankings by meeting attendees

ICCA reveals new destination rankings by meeting attendees

Country and city rankings by estimated total number of participants published in ICCA's latest statistics report.

New regional vice president for ILEA

New regional vice president for ILEA

International Live Events Association appoints new RVP for EMEA who will work with regional chapters.

'Your phone and computer have off buttons and you do deserve a break sometimes'

'Your phone and computer have off buttons and you do deserve a break sometimes'

A-List 2019: Francesca Secola, event manager, Pure Events

'Real step change' in how destinations attract business

'Real step change' in how destinations attract business

VisitBritain's Kerrin Macphie discusses international strategy and 'mapping out' the UK's business events capacity.

Telford to welcome eye specialists in 2020

Telford to welcome eye specialists in 2020

College of Optometrists' annual congress Optometry Tomorrow will be held at Telford International Centre in 2020.

'It's important to demonstrate that you can work out of your comfort zone'

'It's important to demonstrate that you can work out of your comfort zone'

A-List 2019: Georgia O'Rourke, event manager MCI Experience.

LATEST JOBS