Wellington counts down to opening of Tākina

Tākina is located on Wellington's bustling waterfront precinct.

Adding new conference and exhibition centre Tākina to the amazing array of venues already on offer in 2023 gives yet another reason for organisers to host their next conference in Wellington.

A major milestone in the lead up to the opening of Tākina has been celebrated with Wellington City Council receiving the keys to its new venue. The convention centre will officially open at end of May, after a series of test events taking place earlier in the month.

Taranaki Whānui representatives attended the ceremony to officially bless the building prior to occupation. Tākina, meaning ‘to invoke or encounter’, was gifted by Taranaki Whānui to reflect the building as a place people come together to connect and collaborate in the capital.

Venue operator Tākina Events is now ready to start a rigorous schedule of testing and training ahead of a very busy few months.

Wellington City Council has received the keys to its new convention centre Tākina.

The New Zealand capital is the perfect conference destination, being home to Government, headquarters for most of the country’s central government agencies and many national bodies.

Renowned for collaboration and connectedness, the city has gained a reputation for easy access to high-profile people within the realms of government agencies, politics, world-class education institutes, local industry and sectors of strength.

The ability to tap into such talent with ease, coupled with Wellington’s central location, are already big drawcards for conference organisers.

The city boasts a multitude of world-class conference and events venues that vary in size and cost and multiple accommodation options for all budgets within the CBD.

Tākina is now in testing mode ahead of its May opening.

Inspired by Wellington’s dramatic landscape and environment, with 10,000 square metres of multi-purpose space, Tākina is thoughtfully designed with an immersive delegate experience in mind.

Tākina sits across two levels of flexible space, ideally suited for medium to large conferences for up to 1600 delegates. Being purpose-built, it can cater for a large conference exclusively, or two conferences at the same time.

Tākina will not only operate sustainably, but it has also been built with the highest standard of sustainability in mind.

The design has achieved a five-star Green Star certification representing New Zealand excellence for environmental sustainability, which will lead to projected 60 percent less energy and emit 66 percent less carbon emissions than buildings of a similar size and function.

What also sets Tākina apart is its public exhibition space on the ground floor, which will attract global exhibitions to Wellington and New Zealand.

The exhibition space will sit alongisde a cafe offering the best of Wellington’s cuisine and a retail outlet, all areas where both delegates and Wellingtonians alike can meet, relax and enjoy the surroundings.

What is also exciting is that Tākina is operated by Tākina Events alongside conference venue and national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. That enables business events planners to access and book the spaces and services of two of Wellington’s premium conference venues together.

It also means planners can tap into the experience and knowledge of staff who used to solely look after Te Papa’s event space.

With both venues located just across the road from each other, there are plenty of accommodation options nearby, and the airport is just fifteen minutes away.

View of Wellington from Mt Victoria. Photo: Johnny Huynen

In fact Wellington is ideally located right in the heart of New Zealand, making it easily accessible for New Zealand delegates and their Australian counterparts with direct daily flights.

The city’s compact nature, and being Tākina is situated in the heart of Wellington’s vibrant, cultural precinct, it means the new conference and exhibition space is easily accessible and walkable for delegates.

The waterfront and nature are right on the doorstep, and steeped in food, wine, history and culture, delegates will tell you that descending on Wellington is a welcome change of scenery and an escape from the daily grind.

Wellington City Council’s Tākina commercial development general manager David Perks (right).

With so much on offer and a new venue to add to the inner-city offerings, the outlook for 2023 is looking bright, says Wellington City Council’s Tākina commercial development general manager David Perks.

“As the world has reopened in 2022, we have seen just how significant the opening of Tākina and the hosting of more and larger business events in Wellington can be,” he says.

“And 2023 will be the year where that opportunity will, for the first time, be realised.

“Everyone in the city is looking forward to welcoming delegates from across the world – these visitors will add to the vibrancy and prosperity of our city, but most critically they will bring their thinking and, we trust, will both leave and take away legacy outcomes for all.”

With the countdown on to Tākina’s opening, Jake Downing, Te Papa’s director of commercial services, and his team are getting excited. The very first conference will be the Festival for The Future in 2023, while the booking farthest out so far is the Congress of the International Association of Sedimentologists in 2026.

“With more than 100 events on the calendar for the first year, the majority of which are multi-day conferences between 300 and 1,000 delegates, our team is excited to be on site to get to know every square centimetre, bit of equipment and technology,” says Downing.

“We have got a strong focus on what resources we need to enable us to deliver world-class experiences, from what recruitment we need through to developing enhanced training programmes and pathways for our team.

“To complement the 5-Star Green Star design certification, we are also developing our working and delivery procedures to ensure we can provide sustainable world-class events to all our partners and guests.”

The Business Events Wellington team is excited about sharing its stunning new venue. To lock in your dates for Tākina or to learn more about bringing your conference to Wellington, contact BusinessEvents@WellingtonNZ.com or +64 4 916 1219.