Te Pae Christchurch begins 12 month countdown

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is set to open the doors on its first conference in just 12 months.

The Christchurch-based New Zealand College of Midwives will host its 16th Biennial National Conference at the venue from 15-17 October, marking the first time it has hosted a national conference in the South Island for more than 10 years.

It will be followed by Te Pae Christchurch’s first major international event, the International Association of Ecology (INTECOL) 11th International Wetlands Conference, which will bring around 1000 delegates to the city.

“We’re delighted to have such a strong line up of events to launch Te Pae Christchurch to the world, and it’s a nice touch that our first event is for a locally-based organisation,” Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele said.

“The next 12 months are going to be a busy time for us with new team members coming onboard, sourcing of local suppliers, planning for confirmed events and a host of conference opportunities underway.

“Not to mention employment opportunities will soon begin ramping up in our events, culinary and services teams, as we assemble a staff of around 200 people dedicated to providing an outstanding visitor experience.”

Ōtākaro Limited chief executive John Bridgman said construction of the venue is on track with the roof installation nearing completion.

“Work to attach the 43,000 braided river façade tiles is now well underway and once the roof is finished the intricate work of creating the curved ceilings and the placement of the internal timber panelling will be able to begin, giving Te Pae an inviting warmth,” he said.

New Zealand College of Midwives chief executive Alison Eddy said they were thrilled to be the first conference at Te Pae Christchurch.

“Our conference attracts over 600 delegates and has a varied programme including international and national keynote speakers,” she said.

“For a conference this size, there are a limited number of venues available. Te Pae Christchurch offered us the flexibility to accommodate our plenary sessions, exhibition stands, day catering, multiple concurrent sessions, workshops and social functions, all in the one building. Plus, the dedicated parent’s room is a unique feature of Te Pae that we haven’t come across before in any other venue in New Zealand.”