After three years, the spectacular convention centre in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, is getting ready to welcome visitors. The premium, purpose-built facility, located in the town centre, is poised for a bright future…

Wellington, New Zealand capital, has been waiting for its own convention and exhibition centre for some time. Now, after three years of construction in the vicinity of Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum, the countdown is on. Only a few months to go before Wellington’s premium, purpose-built convention and exhibition centre, Tākina, launches.

Tākina means to invoke, to summon, to connect, to bring forth. It takes inspiration from the defining feature of Wellington, the winds, and centres us in the capital city. Wellington is one fo the most walkable capital cities in the world.

The city of over 210,000 inhabitants is a small metropolis, which has a wealth of heritage and character and Tākina, wants the international events community to become part of this amazing place.

A reflection of Wellington’s character

Tākina is New Zealand capital city’s largest built infrastructure investment since the Wellington Stadium opened two decades ago. The building exterior is now complete, with the roof and façade finished. The Exhibition Centre, located on the ground floor of Tākina, has been specifically designed to enable New Zealand to secure and host leading international touring exhibitions and to showcase home-grown exhibitions.

The facade features around 1,300 glass panels installed across the building’s curved profile, the engineering of these panels reduces heat entering the building from the sun, reducing the peak cooling requirements and associated energy.

Once opened, Tākina will definitely redefine the position of Wellington as a convention city. Sitting across two levels offering 8,000 sq. m and ideal for plenaries up to 1,600 delegates, the facility will be able to accommodate conferences which size will range from 300 to up to 1,500 delegates.

The top two floors will deliver the Capital’s first premium space to host meetings and conventions with over 10,000sqm of flexible meeting and exhibition space. This will be a space where Wellington can showcase the breadth and depth of expertise and thought leadership on offer in the Capital, hosting events, and building new ones for carefully targeted audiences that fit with Wellington’s Capital City status. 

The ground floor will include a 1,280sqm Exhibition Gallery that will be the largest in NZ. The Gallery will attract locals and visitors to see the global entertaining and inspiring exhibitions that will be on show. Locally developed and curated exhibitions will be premiered here before touring offshore – exhibitions that showcase the creative talents of Wellington and New Zealand. 

The new convention centre will be closely associated with the nearby museum. Tākina is managed by Tākina Events which operates all the services at the conference venue and the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. This arrangement will enable business events planners to access and book the spaces and services of two of Wellington’s premium conference venues together. Market-leaders in large-scale, multi-day conferences, Tākina Events provides both choice and professionalism to the domestic and international market.

Tākina Convention Centre is located in the heart of New Zealand capital Wellington (Photo: russellstreet, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

70 conferences already booked prior to official opening

Conference bookings are already surging prior to the inaugural. Whilst 50 of the more than 70 bookings made are for the first 12 months, the interest since the reopening of New Zealand’s borders has become more international with longer lead-times.

The very first conference will be the Festival for The Future in June 2023, while bookings are being confirmed as far out as 2026, including the Congress of the International Association of Sedimentologists.

GM of Commercial Development for Tākina at Wellington City Council, David Perks, says, “Tākina is quickly becoming a recognised and exciting new landmark in Wellington. Conference organisers are finding that the spaces in Tākina are versatile which, combined with being in the heart of the city, will deliver the conference experience they are seeking for their delegates.”

And as it is situated right across the road from each other in the heart of the vibrant, cultural capital, it’s also ideal for delegates with accommodation nearby and the airport only 15minutes away.

Tākina will have huge positive flow-on effects for Wellington hospitality, accommodation and retail businesses and is expected to bring in and protect business worth around US$29 million (NZ$45 million) a year in GDP to Wellington’s economy.

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