You will not believe how excited we are to be welcoming you here since the first time we hosted this event 14 years ago.
A lot has happened in those 14 years.
We have experienced more than our fair share of the challenges nature and life can throw at a city. But we have become known as a city defined by its response to those challenges rather than the crises we have had to confront.
And that’s why I can stand here and welcome you to a new and ever-evolving environment that embraces opportunity in a way we would not have done the last time you were here.
And that’s what makes this place special.
We have proved ourselves open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things – a place where anything is possible.
We have embraced our pre-European history in a way I would not have imagined even 14 years ago.
We have embedded that history into our natural and built landscape – from our world-class convention centre Te Pae to Turanga - our amazing new central city library designed by the people it was for – note the stairs and the hat tip to Harry Potter.
Victoria Square was once Market Square where local Maori traded with the early settlers – today Queen Victoria is flanked by Mana Motuhake, a new element that offers balance to the bicultural narrative of our city - a celebration and reflection of our shared cultural heritage - creating opportunities for understanding our past but more importantly our shared future.
Everywhere you look you can see the progress we have made as a city.
While you’re here at MEETINGS, you’ll hear the team talk about Finding. Your Space, and this couldn’t be easier in this city.
Take time to explore everything that is on your accommodation’s doorstep: the event venues, the open green spaces, the riverside restaurants, and bars. Everything you could need as a visitor, and a delegate, is conveniently close. Forget long bus rides or Ubers across big cities – here in Christchurch everything is within reach.
No doubt you came through Christchurch Airport on your way here. This international hub is of particular pride to our city. It is one of the most sustainable airports in the world with plans to become even more so.
Our venues are world-class, spacious and high-tech. We are confident in our business events offering, from hangars filled with vintage planes, to flexible convention centres catering to the smallest and biggest of events and here our Christchurch Town Hall – its restoration has brought back something that is truly special.
Pair these venues with high quality accommodation and a city centre filled with hospitality and visitor offerings – Christchurch just makes sense.
It gives me great confidence talking about the people here on the ground that can help you deliver your event. From the team at ChristchurchNZ, to the vast business network ready to support you, you will feel welcomed here.
So please, while you’re here – find your space, explore our venues, meet our people.
We are a city on the up and up and would love to host you.
It’s who we are.