Blanchfield adds: ‘Our city’s links to the heart of the South Island, and cultural and heritage stories from Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu are woven through every aspect of the design.’
Christchurch dropped to two per cent of the New Zealand market share for large multi-day conventions in 2011, and since then has been stalled at nine per cent. Prior to the earthquakes, Christchurch held 24 per cent of the market.
‘The new convention centre will give us the capacity to reach that level again,’ says Blanchfield.
International convention delegates spend twice as much as other international visitors, often extend their visit to the rest of the South Island, and are likely to return for holidays in the future.
‘The downstream benefits of having this convention centre are all the linkages that hosting international conferences have, such as building profile for our tertiary institutions, and profiling our city and region,’ Blanchfield continues.
‘Having strong tertiary and research institutions encourages more students, more students need jobs, which in turn gives us a vibrant city core.’