2020 opening for $240m Christchurch Convention Centre

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Christchurch Convention Centre

CPB Contractors, owned by Australia’s CIMIC Group, has secured the contract to complete the design and build the $240m Christchurch Convention Centre.

The centre, which will feature an auditorium for 1400 delegates, a 1250 person banqueting hall and 14 interconnected meeting rooms for up to 1400 people, is scheduled to complete in Q1 2020.

ChristchurchNZ convention bureau manager Caroline Blanchfield said the facility would allow the city to welcome back conferences of scale to Christchurch, the gateway to the South Island.

“With its separate plenary hall and exhibition space, the Christchurch Convention Centre will be attractive to a large array of domestic Australasian and international conferences,'” said Blanchfield.

“We are already working with several parties interested in coming to Christchurch to experience our hospitality and to see how New Zealand’s newest city is developing.”

Christchurch Airport chief executive Malcolm Johns said the convention centre would be a key platform for the city and its communities to connect with the nation and the world.

“The convention centre will allow us to again participate in and host a wide range of special interest groups from around the country and the world in our city,” said Johns.

“For example, we’re one of only five Antarctic gateway cities on the planet. The Antarctic activity brings around $100m in economic benefit to Christchurch each year, so being able to host the world’s Antarctic scientists here again is simply fantastic for our city.”

Johns said the next three years would be Christchurch’s “Goldilocks” years, as the rebuild gained momentum.

The centre was originally planned to be complete by early this year but was rescheduled to late 2019 before the yesterday’s announcement of early 2020.

“Work on the convention centre will begin shortly with our newly-appointed main works contractor, CPB Contractors Limited,” said the Minister supporting Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner, at the announcement of CPB’s successful tender yesterday.

“This will be a world-class boutique facility, capable of hosting international conferences as well as community meetings, balls, galas and weddings.”

The direct economic benefit of the convention centre is estimated to be more than $320m in the first eight years, and $57m every year after that, said Wagner.

“It’s also expected to increase private sector investment, open up business networks and opportunities, and create new jobs.”

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