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June 5, 2018

Convention Space News: New in New Zealand, Jamaica

Two big updates this week in convention space news. Here's what you need to know. 

New Zealand Announces Name of Christchurch Convention Centre

Te Pae has been selected as the official name for the Christchurch Convention Centre opening in New Zealand 2020.

Announcing the name at CINZ MEETINGS 2018 in Auckland Wednesday, Ōtākaro Limited Strategy and Property Opportunities General Manager, Keith Beal said Te Pae (pronounced te pie) references a gathering place.

“The name is a unique yet simple way for domestic and international visitors to identify this premium, purpose-built convention and exhibition venue,” Bael said. “We have worked with local cultural advisers, Matapopore on a name that reflects not only what this facility is, but also what makes it different from any other.

“The exterior design of Te Pae has been derived from the Ngāi Tahu creation story of the Southern Alps in New Zealand’s South Island. The 429,000 individual panels that make up the façade will resemble the colors and curves of Canterbury’s iconic braided rivers that flow down from the mountains.”

These features have been carried through to the branding to reinforce the importance of the surrounding area to the quality of the visitor experience.

When it opens in 2020, Te Pae will be close to a number of accommodations, shops, bars restaurants and parks, Beal said. Additionally, scenic parts of New Zealand’s South Island are less than a two-hour drive away. 

“Prior to 2011, Christchurch was New Zealand’s business events capital, hosting 24 per cent of all conferences on a per-delegate-day basis. We are seeing that demand returning with,” Beal said.

Several events have been confirmed for 2021, including the five-day Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (FAOBMB) conference, the first time New Zealand has hosted this triennial event for 900 leading biochemists. The same year the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) International Biology Symposium will bring 350 of the world’s top Antarctic scientists to Christchurch.

Te Pae will be capable of hosting up to 2,000 delegates for a variety of national and international events. It will include a 1,400-delegate auditorium, a 200-booth exhibition hall, banquet hall and 24 meeting rooms overlooking Victoria Square and Ōtākaro/Avon River.

John Lynch Named Chairman of the Montego Bay Convention Centre

In executive news, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board John Lynch has been appointed as Chairman of the Montego Bay Convention Centre (MBCC). Other members of the board include Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr Andrew Spencer, Banker, Andrea Lyle, Restaurateur, Robert Russell and Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Godfrey Dyer.

The announcement by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett follows Cabinet approval for the ownership of MBCC to be transferred from the Urban Development Corporation to the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Public Service.

A statement from the tourism ministry said other senior appointments at MBCC, such as the Executive Director, will be announced at a later date.

Bartlett also noted that MBCC will continue to play a pivotal role in leveraging Jamaica as a Caribbean destination for the meetings, incentives, conventions, and events market.

“A major part of this arrangement is for the Ministry of Tourism to handle the daily management, operation, and marketing of the facility,” Bartlett said in a written statement. “The Ministry’s proposed plans for the centre include the possible development of the facility to house a hotel on the property; creation of retail shops and housing the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation – which just completed its pilot phase with over 150 graduates.”

The MBCC was first opened in 2011 and has a total of 139,302 square feet of meeting, exhibition and ballroom spaces. It is also a five-time recipient of the World Travel Award for being the Caribbean's Leading Meetings and Conference Centre.

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