Asia Pacific venue management company AEG Ogden has been selected as the operator for the new Te Pae Christchurch facility in New Zealand.
The contract was announced today by Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive, John Bridgman.
Te Pae will have capacity to host up to 2,000 delegates for a variety of national and international events and will feature purpose built facilities including a 1,400-seat auditorium, 3,600sqm of exhibition space and 24 meeting rooms set on the banks of the Avon River. It will begin hosting events from October 2020.
“Te Pae is over a quarter of the way through construction. 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,” Bridgman said.
Bridgman said AEG Ogden’s network of venues across the Asia Pacific region, including the International Convention Centre Sydney, illustrated the company’s “significant experience in delivering world-class events”.
AEG Ogden Chairman and CEO, Harvey Lister reiterated that the Te Pae would instantly benefit from AEG’s world-class 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.
“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.”
Lister said AEG Ogden and AEG Advantage would work “hand in glove” with Ōtākaro to achieve its objectives for both Te Pae and Christchurch.
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“The positioning of Te Pae as a boutique, authentic, international standard meeting and events hub will act as a catalyst for the city’s activation by ensuring its complete integration into the city fabric. This, in turn, will assist in the regeneration of Christchurch and the Canterbury region and provide an optimal return on investment for the Crown. We are so excited to be involved with this project and our team can’t wait to get started,” Lister said added.
Experienced convention centre executive Ross Steele has been promoted to manage Te Pae, Christchurch, ahead of its opening next year. Steele has managed Cairns Convention Centre for AEG Ogden for the past 12 years.
Under his watch, the centre was ranked number one in the world by the Association of International Congress Centres (AIPC) in 2014. He also oversaw a recent AUD$14m refurbishment of the venue.
AEG Ogden’s Director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy, congratulated Steele and said he 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.
“Our priority will be to attract international conventions which will both benefit the economy and showcase Christchurch and New Zealand to the world,” Steele said.
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Sue Sullivan welcomed AEG Ogden’s appointment as the operator for Te Pae which, she believes, “will help put Christchurch on the world stage for conferences and events”.
“A globally connected and respected operator like AEG Ogden gives Christchurch the best chance of securing the maximum number of events when Te Pae opens in late 2020. They have the expertise and experience needed to get the new venue operationally-ready for its opening next year,” Sullivan said.
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