Te Pae Convention Center Opens Again with Revamped Events

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Te Pae opened just weeks before the Covid red light setting changed.

STACY SQUIRES / Stuff

Te Pae opened just weeks before the Covid red light setting changed.

Te Pae Convention Center in Christchurch has reopened under the orange Covid light with 100 events planned for the rest of 2022.

Te Pae had only been open for a few weeks, with a small number of private functions, when the government’s switch to red in January halted all events with more than 100 people.

An open house in early February has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

The town center complex was built by the Crown at a cost of just under $450 million, including $240 million for construction, $74 million for land and $34 million for services professionals.

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Crowds at the Christchurch Armageddon Expo 2017.  This year's event will be held in Te Pae in December.

David Walker / Stuff

Crowds at the Christchurch Armageddon Expo 2017. This year’s event will be held in Te Pae in December.

Te Pae was closed until Easter and reopened this week. A spokesman for rebuilding company Crown Ōtākaro said it had taken the opportunity to carry out repair work highlighted during a post-Christmas commissioning and testing period.

This included adjusting information technology and audio-visual systems and painting imperfect finishes, he said.

Some of the events that fell inside the 80-day red light period have been postponed. As the borders are still closed, none of the events concerned were international.

The Te Pae auditorium can accommodate 1400 people.

CHRIS SKELTON / Stuff

The Te Pae auditorium can accommodate 1400 people.

Twenty-five events have been postponed, six have been canceled and four have taken place elsewhere.

Among those postponed are the Christchurch Art Show, moved from March to June.

The Armageddon Expo has also been booked for March with activities including games, cosplay, cartoons, comics and celebrity appearances postponed to December.

A black-tie fundraiser for the Māia Health Foundation, a Christchurch District Health Board charity, has been postponed until September.

Te Pae cost $240 million to build, with a total project cost of $450 million.

STACY SQUIRES / Stuff

Te Pae cost $240 million to build, with a total project cost of $450 million.

The Smart Innovation Christchurch Expo, organized by Christchurch City Council in February with 10,000 attendees expected, has been postponed for the second time. New dates have not yet been set.

Te Pae manager Ross Steele said they had spent the shutdown planning and expected the postponement to mean a busy year ahead.

The 100 events include 60 conferences and are expected to inject $37 million into the city’s economy, according to financial services firm EY. Twelve are international events.

THING

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins gives the daily update and announces a change from alert levels to the amber traffic light setting. (Published April 13, 2022)

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