It’s time for a community discussion about how this City will use the Convention Centre. It has cost $500m+ to build. What are we going to use it for? It has closed off Christchurch streets. Somebody rang me recently and suggested that it should have been painted white; to go with its elephant status.
All joking aside, we have this massive structure placed like a great blancmange squatting over what used to be streets. It sits resplendent with its exterior “scales”, across a number of blocks. There is no way that it will ever be full with conventions. I posted some time ago that the current bookings are for 3 major events over the next three years. That was before Covid 19.
I have searched around the world about what is happening with Convention Centres, but have been unsuccessful in finding anything. I do know that the Convention Centres which seemed to make money were ones which were attached to a Casino.
We have learned post Covid 19 that we don’t have to all be in offices and that we can function across the world via Zoom, and other methods of keeping in touch.
- One idea might be to shift Government Departments to Christchurch. The Government has a new building which could be modified to accommodate them. Could our Council begin to advocate for Government Departments to shift to this City. They don’t need to be in Wellington.
- Maybe the Convention Centre could become a site for high tech excellence to connect with the world, and to sell the goods and services we are producing in this Island.
- Rosemary suggests bringing some of the University back into the centre of the city using the Convention Centre
That’s two ideas off the top of my head and so I invite you to submit your ideas. I will print the serious ones…and then pass them on to the Government, which owns this place. And no, calling its “Gerry’s roadblock” is not acceptable.