AEG Ogden to manage Te Pae Christchurch with Ross Steele picked to open it

AEG Ogden has been selected as the operator for Te Pae Christchurch, with Cairns Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele appointed as venue manager.

Te Pae will have capacity to host up to 2,000 delegates with purpose built facilities including a 1,400 seat auditorium, 3,600 square metres of exhibition space and 24 meeting rooms set on the banks of the Avon River. It will begin hosting events from October 2020.

Ōtākaro Limited chief executive John Bridgman said Te Pae is over a quarter of the way through construction.

Ross Steele picked to lead the opening in 2020.

“Work on the steel framework for the exhibition hall is nearing completion, giving people a greater appreciation of the scale of New Zealand’s second largest conference and exhibition facility,” he said.

AEG Ogden Chairman and CEO Harvey Lister said Te Pae would benefit from AEG’s reputation and global connections.

“We intend applying our global expertise to showcase Christchurch’s world-class innovation, techniques, research and best practices in the city’s key industry sectors of Earth Science, Health Science, International Education, Agriculture, ICT and Building Technology,” he said.

“Our aim is to attract major conventions which will not only provide a significant economic boost but showcase the exceptional world class talent and skills of the Christchurch and New Zealand communities.”

AEG Ogden’s director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy, said Steele had the experience and skills to lead an executive team through pre-opening and  securing important conventions and content for the new venue.

“His track-record in Cairns stands him in good stead to take on the challenge of managing this new venue and is ready to hit the ground running,” he said.

Steele said he looked forward to working with the venue owner Otakaro to achieve positive outcomes for both Te Pae and Christchurch.

“Our priority will be to attract international conventions which will both benefit the economy and showcase Christchurch and New Zealand to the world,” he said.