Why conferencing in Christchurch can be impactful?
19 October 2023
Recently Te Pae Christchurch hosted the 14th Annual TravelManagers Conference. One of the conference’s key goals was to make this event Carbon Neutral.
Michael Gazal, Executive General Manager from TravelManagers, working with local-host HOT-founder Chris Paulsen wanted to make sustainability a key focus, and choosing a sustainable destination and venue for their first annual conference in New Zealand was important.
“Te Pae Christchurch helped us deliver on making this a green event with several sustainable operations, like no-waste-to-landfill coffee-carts, recyclable and reusable water stations, and no single-use plastics”.
TravelManagers also partnered with local The Christchurch Foundation to help meet their carbon-neutral goals. They provided practical and hands-on solutions, and rather than buying carbon credits to offset emissions, they helped the conference find and choose a local tree planting activity that is encouraging the return of native tui birds to the central city. Planting enough trees to cover travel emissions for all 370 delegates.
“Monetary wise it may have been a more expensive option however the value of bringing a group of our key partners together in a special part of Christchurch in the city’s red zone made the investment more than worthwhile.” said Michael Gazal
Fun and powerful, this experience was welcomed with excitement and pride by the attendees. “The smile on people’s faces said it all!! Although it was a physical exercise digging holes and planting trees, you could feel the energy and satisfaction of our participants with plenty of laughs in the mix!”
Alongside this sustainability exercise, delegates spent time around Christchurch, discovering and enjoying various activities within the city including zip lining, punting on the Avon, cultural walking tours, and cooking classes amongst others that showcased the diversity of the city offerings.
Te Pae Christchurch is committed to reducing its environmental impact, leading by example to generate meaningful change for the future.
While we are only in our second year of operation, our sustainable journey has been going for four years. Te Pae Christchurch partner with New Zealand government-owned Toitū Envirocare to help us on our journey.
Following our third successful audit for Toitū Enviromark Gold Certification, our next ambitious target is to be carbon-neutral by the end of 2024, and Toitū Envirocare are guiding us on the journey.
What is helping us on our sustainability journey?
Green Building Design: Te Pae Christchurch was designed with a focus on sustainable building practices. It has been built with environmentally friendly materials, effective insulation, and natural lighting that all help reduce energy consumption.
Energy Efficiency: We operate with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient technologies such as LED lighting that further reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Sustainable Catering: We partner with sustainable local suppliers. To minimise the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, we choose seasonal and locally produced food options wherever possible.
Standing by Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: We donate any unused food from our events that can be re-used to local charity ‘Foodbank Canterbury’, and we use the GAIA food dehydrator that turns food-waste into a rich garden fertiliser that is gifted to local gardens. We have also installed an eWater system that produces a natural cleaning product, reducing reliance on traditional cleaning products. We are 100% free of single-use plastics.
Water Conservation: To minimise water consumption, we use efficient equipment and landscaping practices.
Meet our people: Nathan Gardiner, our new Head of Technology and Innovation
19 October 2023
Nathan joined Te Pae Christchurch three months ago in the newly created position of Head of Technology and Innovation.
He brings a wealth of experience to the role and has made an immediate impact leading the highly skilled team of Audio Visual (AV) and Information Communications and Technology (ICT) specialists at Te Pae Christchurch.
Nathan has been involved in AV and ICT management in the education sector for many years including at the University of Canterbury where he managed several critical AV and ICT projects.
“I was seeking new career opportunities and was attracted by the opportunity of the role. From the moment I walked into the building I wanted to be part of Te Pae Christchurch. The passion of the team and the Te Pae Christchurch values and manaakintanga (hospitality) aligns completely with my own values.”
Even though Te Pae Christchurch is only eighteen months old, Nathan has already set about working on an innovative technology roadmap to heighten the customer journey.
“I have been so impressed with the team at Te Pae Christchurch. It’s wonderful to be a part of this incredible work whānau, where passion, innovation and our customers are at the forefront. I feel right at home here!”
On a more personal side, when Nathan is not spending time with his active family including his wife, five teenagers and two cats, you can find him riding his motorbike throughout Aotearoa.
At Te Pae Christchurch, we are fortunate to employ a number of talented individuals who not only contribute to the success of our events but who also strive for excellence outside of the organisation.
Two such innovators are twins Archie and Jack MacDonald, who when they’re not working at the Centre in our Event Sets team, are out developing sustainable business cards made of sheep wool.
The pair recently received the National Excellence Award for Business Innovation at the national Young Enterprise Scheme awards, for their TotalCard “tap and go” sheep wool cards that instantly transfer contact information to any smartphone.
The cards were developed in conjunction with Christchurch-based Shear Edge, a state-of-the-art materials engineering company, which seeks to create products with purpose that unleash the potential of wool and natural fibres.
By integrating Near Field Communication (NFC) chip technology with the wool-based, plastic-like material from Shear Edge, the resulting product is stronger and more durable than synthetic plastic, and has the potential to support a reduction in paper business cards and PVC plastics.
The two young entrepreneurs have high ambitions for their enterprise, hoping to eventually expand into sustainable alternatives to bank cards, gift cards and loyalty cards.
Our events calendar for 2023 has already kicked back into gear, with Game On Canterbury – a new sport and active recreation expo – one of the first to take place in mid-February.
This whānau (family) friendly event attracted over a thousand members of the community, with participants spending the day trying a host of new activities from the traditional (rugby, cricket and netball) to the not-so-traditional (roller derby, pickleball and fencing).
Next month we have a wide array of events from the 8th Biennial Whisky and Dram Festival to the Southern Women in Public Service Summit, as well as our first live music event. We’re thrilled to welcome world renowned house DJs, Basement Jaxx to Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre on Thursday 30 March 2023. With well known tunes like ‘Romeo’ and ‘Where’s your head at’, Basement Jaxx have been a crowd favourite for almost 15 years. Tickets are on sale now via Endeavour Live.
In April, we welcome Armageddon back for the second time. The first event with us in December 2022 also marked the first time the expo has been back to central Christchurch since 2010.
We are also delighted to be the host venue for a series of charity events, including the Child Cancer Sparkle for Hope Ball and Gala Dinner in early May.
For more information about upcoming events, visit the Events page on our website.
Corporate social responsibility and sustainable operations both remained an important focus for Te Pae Christchurch over the past 12 months, with the whole team engaged in making a difference to our community.
Among the CSR initiatives we have held or supported during the year:
• A partnership with the Canterbury Community Garden Association and the Just Dirt Trust to supply “soil food” generated by our onsite food dehydrator to their network of community gardens • The donation of surplus food from events to Foodbank Canterbury • Donation drives to support AVIVA in their pursuit to support families and communities to live a life free from violence.
Our most recent initiatives took place in conjunction with the ASM Global Month of Giving, one month dedicated to providing the opportunities and resources for team members to volunteer, give back and engage in local community initiatives.
• The collection of Christmas gifts that will go to families most in need as part of our continuing support of AVIVA • Attendance at an afternoon tea in support of The Christchurch Foundation’s Women’s Fund, a fund that supports girls and women in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri who are actively leading change • Participation in Movember, raising $679 that will go towards helping and raising awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.
In the area of sustainability, Te Pae Christchurch is well on the way to becoming a leader in sustainable operations, with the team carrying through the sustainability management focus from pre-opening to the first year of operations.
Among the achievements in 2022: • Achieved a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award from Qualmark • Recertified Toitū Enviromark Gold • Awarded the Toitū Brighter Future Award 2022 for Exceptional Achievement in Environmental Management.
This year has been a huge team effort and we’d like to acknowledge our entire Te Pae whanau for their manaakitanga and continued effort in setting environmental standards and helping to foster an internal culture which seeks to limit our impact on the environment and make a difference to our community.
Earlier this year, our charity partner Cholmondeley Children’s Centre held its Sparkle and Shine fundraising event, where guests could bid on an exclusive, one-of-a-kind dining package – the first dinner in Te Pae Christchurch.
We were thrilled to witness an auction result of $21,500 for this incredibly worthy charity, part of the $95,000 raised overall.
Planning is well underway for the dinner and we hope the successful bidders enjoy their exclusive dining experience later this year.
Te Ngutu, our ceremonial entranceway, is currently being assembled onsite at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.
Called Te Aika, which means ‘the home people’, this artwork has been designed by Simon Kaan and Rachael Rakena, with SCAPE Public Art producing the structure in collaboration with Matapopore. The design was inspired by the distinctive southern maihi, or diagonal bargeboards, on whare on the bank of the Horotueka (Cam River).
Other influences include: the kōtuku, which is considered a good omen; karanga weaving imagery as a tribute to Ngāi Tūāhuriri wāhine (women); the kahu huruhuru or cloak as a symbol of welcome, warmth, mana and protection; and Te Ao Mārama or world of world of life and light (wisdom and understanding).
This artwork represents much more than a physical presence outside of Te Pae Christchurch. It depicts the history and fabric that makes up the Canterbury region, as well as the people that live there, and New Zealand’s culture and identity.
Our Business Development team are delighted to be back on the road, attending several meetings and exhibitions across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.
Already this month, several members of the team have been travelling throughout New Zealand connecting with current and potential clients during a series of sales calls, with more planned as we move closer to opening.
From 2-3 June, our Director of Business Development Gillian will be joined by our General Manager Ross Steele and Business Development Managers Angela and Mel at the MEETINGS tradeshow in Auckland. After missing out on the event due to Covid last year, the team are excited to collaborate and network with New Zealand’s business events industry, and provide an update on the Centre and our opening. If you are at MEETINGS, please stop by our stand (#173), we would love to see you.
In late June, Gillian will also take part in IBTM Wired, a virtual version of one of our industry’s biggest international conferences.
Meanwhile in Australia, our long awaited Business Events Christchurch collaboration with ChristchurchNZ and Tourism New Zealand, first announced at AIME 2020 but delayed due to Covid, will commence in early June, and our Australian Business Development Manager Heidi will spend time with clients on Australia’s east coast.
Gillian Officer is our Director of Business Development, and with over 25 years’ experience working in convention centres across Aotearoa New Zealand, she has helped plan and execute many successful events.
Tasked with managing the Centre’s Business Development team, and securing a roster of events that will provide long term benefits to our city and its residents, it is her drive to help clients host memorable events that makes her a valuable and experienced asset in the lead up to our opening this year.
Te Pae Christchurch’s Business Development team is committed to working closely with clients to fulfil their needs and achieve success. They are enthusiastic and driven to bring the city of Ōtautahi Christchurch to the national and international events market.
“All our events at Te Pae Christchurch are going to benefit the community of Christchurch and wider New Zealand by bringing in visitation above and beyond what’s already here,” says Gillian.
“The level of interest we are seeing in the venue is heartening, with enquiries starting to translate into a strong schedule of bookings. Our whole team is looking forward to delivering great events for our clients when we open.”
Get in touch with Gillian to enquire about booking your next event, email [email protected]