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Te Pae Christchurch committed to recovery role

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is delivering on its promise to drive economic and social value to the city of Christchurch, securing a host of new conferences despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The 67 contracted or confirmed events represent a 30 per cent increase on the number of bookings announced at the end of 2019, and are projected to bring over $40 million of economic benefit to the city.

General manager Ross Steele says the fact the centre had been able to retain a significant level of business and even take on new bookings during this time, proved that people still wanted that face-to-face connection with their peers.

“A major reason that convention centres exist is to drive not just economic but also social value for the cities they are based in, so it’s encouraging to see that even at a challenging time such as this, we are continuing to deliver those important opportunities for Christchurch,”  Ross says.

“We have understandably had some cancellations, largely due to uncertainty around travel and the effect of COVID-19 on the construction program, but our team has been working closely with affected clients to reschedule their events to a later date, which has kept the majority of these events in Christchurch.”

One recent signing is the Aotearoa New Zealand Anaesthesia Scientific Meeting, due to take place from November 3-6, 2021.

Event convenor, Doctor Ben van der Griend says the event was expected to attract upwards of 400-500 delegates to the city.

“Most of the delegates will be coming from all over New Zealand, however we also attract a good number from Australia and further afield,” he says.

The theme for 2021 will be Whakaora (To Heal): Our patients, Ourselves, Our City, Our Planet; a topic which is sure to resonate given the events Christchurch has faced since the last anaesthetic meeting was hosted in the city in 2010.

“Christchurch has experienced a lot of trauma with the earthquakes and then the 2019 mosque attacks. Receiving burns victims from the Whakaari/White Island eruption was another challenge for the Christchurch Hospital. Then, of course, was COVID-19.

“What most people don’t realise is that anaesthetists are in the absolute front line of these events and take a leadership role within the hospital. We have a story to tell and there will be many coming to Christchurch to hear it,” Dr van der Griend says.

“We are excited to be hosting the meeting in Te Pae Christchurch – the building is looking amazing. We live in a very special place and look forward to showcasing our city – there will be a lot of people who will grab the chance to come and see what we have to offer.”

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