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Behind the Scenes - Number 10  July 2001

Seasonal newsletter from NCC (New Zealand) Ltd
Venue manager for the Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch Town Hall, and Westpac Centre

NCC (New Zealand) Ltd has been proud manager of the Westpac Centre since it opened a little over 2 years ago. The critical success of the facility has been somewhat assured with sporting events such as the World Netball Championships, Steffi Graf and Davis Cup Tennis; sellout concerts such as Neil Diamond and Janet Jackson; and trade shows such as TRENZ, the largest trade show of its type in New Zealand and only possible in Christchurch because of the arena.

Just as importantly, the financial performance of the facility has been a benchmark with a black bottom line operationally since the venue opened. The independent Council feasibility studies had provided for operating losses exceeding $400,000 and $600,000 respectively in the first two years of operation.

It is also worthwhile reflecting on the international recognition and critical operating successes achieved:

  • New Zealand’s largest and Christchurch’s $32 million indoor arena with 8,888 capacity opened on time and on budget in September 1998.
  • Received an architectural design award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects
  • Set a New Zealand indoor attendance record for netball with 5,644 attending a NZ vs Australia Test March 1999.
  • Hosted the most successful World Netball Championships October 1999 with 27 countries participating (NZ pipped in final by Australia).
  • Set a New Zealand indoor attendance record for tennis with 5,037 attending the Steffi Graf Tribute in February 2000.
  • Recognized in January 2000 as one of the Top 10 Concert facilities internationally by Amusement Business, the industry newspaper.
  • In March 2001 received an Accolade Award for outstanding service by CIM Magazine, the Australian convention magazine.
  • Recognised by Pollstar, the concert magazine, for hosting the 30th largest grossing concert outside the US and in ‘Amusement Business’ in the Top 100 international concert grosses.
  • Listed immediately behind Birmingham’s NEC arena and the Manchester arena for largest concert grosses in 1999 despite unfavourable exchange rates comparisons.
  • The venue will welcome its 500,000th visitor in May 2001.

In summary, it has been a great first two and a half years and we look forward to expanding upon the recognition received to date and setting new records with new sporting and entertainment events. We will have announced a major November 2001 concert with Robbie Williams as we go to print. Hold your breath for future concert announcements.

Mike Kelly CFE
Executive Director Executive



Award-winning artwork
For Christchurch Convention Centre

To celebrate the new millennium, the Christchurch City Council has commissioned a major artwork for the Christchurch Convention Centre.

Chosen from a limited competition commission, Blue is an abstract blue neon sculpture designed by Bill Culbert, one of New Zealand’s leading artists.

Blue 2000 by Bill Culbert: 100m glass tubing pumped with argon gas/mercury vapour mix supported in space with stainless steel rods.


Dance of the White Horses
that came true for all those who attended this captivating show over two nights at the Westpac Centre on 4 & 5 April. These magnificent Andalusian and Lipizzaner horses, with bloodlines dating back to the eighth century, teamed with the expertise of Spanish horsemanship to provide a show which uplifted the spirits of young and old alike.


New Appointment

NCC (NZ) Ltd has recently appointed Tanya Beswick, as sales & Marketing Assistant based at the Christchurch Convention Centre. She is responsible for providing support to the NCC (NZ) Ltd team and is excited to be part of the dynamic and vital role that the company plays in venue and event management in Christchurch and the South Island.

After a successful career in the real estate industry, Tanya brings a high level of customer service, marketing and administration skills to this position and is enjoying the new challenges this role brings. Tanya is about to launch into another exciting venture - drumming lessons! Good luck Tanya.


Look Outside the Square

Look ‘Outside the Square’ for conference innovation. In true co-operative manner, six Christchurch businesses have entered into a consortium that above all ensures the customer is best served!

‘Outside the Square’ is a physical footprint that encompasses the Christchurch Convention Centre and Town Hall, Scenic Circle’s Fino Casementi apartments, the Christchurch Casino, The Parkroyal, Copthorne Durham and Copthorne Central hotels.

By working together, this group is able to leverage its reach to the conference and incentive markets and offer a range of accommodation, meeting and social activity options. The group’s alter ego ‘Lucy’ was launched at the recent Asia Pacific Incentives and meetings Exhibition in Melbourne and will continue to feature on promotional collateral as a truly ‘satisfied’ customer. Lucy brings the whole concept to life!

Lucy invites potential customers to call toll free from within New Zealand or from Australia. Being a one stop shop makes planning so much easier for the customer. ‘It’s about working together and making sure Christchurch is promoted as the Conference Capital of New Zealand,’ says the Director sales and Marketing, Cathy Hemsworth. ‘With New Zealand’s largest purpose built conference centre, Christchurch houses the industry’s jewel in the crown. Competition is healthy, but there comes a time to recognise there is strength in numbers and after all we are competing against some of the best facilities and destinations in the world,’ she said.

If you want to know more about ‘Outside the Square’, email:


Monty Roberts
“With much anticipation Monty’s tour party headed from Auckland to Christchurch to do the first of three shows in NZ. Hours of organization by Leigh and Steve Wills of Equus Education (Monty’s Southern Hemisphere Join Up School) brought us to the Westpac Centre bright and early to set up for the evening show.

We were greeted with amazing facilities and a stadium support crew that made every effort to meet any large or small request that we had. We were really spoiled for choice of layout at this fantastic facility. With the round pen set up on the custom built surface, in the middle of the floor, all that was required was to set up merchandise stands and for the vet to check on all the potential horses.

Unfortunately, Frith Goldring, who was looking after the horses that day, had her hands full with six of the potential nine horses somehow managing to injure themselves in the course of the day. Thankfully, a mad dash back to Ashburton to get a fourth horse in time for the show solved the problem.

The show itself went like clockwork. The experience of NCC (NZ) Ltd., crew volunteers and outstanding facilities added to another wonderful Monty Roberts’ performance made for an excellent show.

On behalf of the Monty Roberts Join Up Tour, we would like to thank the Westpac Centre management and staff for the professional and courteous way in which our show was organised. After five wonderful days in Christchurch (yes - we were reminded that the Crusaders had won the Super 12 three times) we left with the opinion that this venue had by far the best facilities we found in New Zealand.” Leigh Wills, Polytechnic Equine Education Centre.


Jamming the Day Away
Thousands turned out and tuned in to six hours of non-stop music from some of New Zealand’s great bands at The Edge Summer Jam 2001, on Sunday 25 February.

The Westpac Centre rocked to the sounds of STELLAR, BREATHE, GARAGELAND, KILLING HEIDI and special guests ZED in a full-on day of bands and entertainment capturing the essence of summer.

The alcohol-free concert was open to all ages and provided a showcase for New Zealand talent as well as the opportunity for young and not so young to kick back and enjoy great music.


Definitely Not your Everyday Function

Ninety Toyota dealer/agency personnel from around the world were recently hosted by international auto giant Toyota to one of the most lavish dining experiences ever staged at the Christchurch Town Hall. This spectacular Toyota incentive dinner was the formal part of their trip to New Zealand.

...the most lavish dining experience ever staged at the Christchurch Town Hall.

Guests to the event enjoyed cocktails in the foyer to piano music, entrée to the sounds of a string quartet and then the piece de resistance - the 90 dinner guests were entertained by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with conductor Brian Law and soloist Tim Beveridge, completing the evening’s entertainment.

The Town Hall Auditorium is gaining a big reputation with overseas companies and conference organisers as an exclusive gala dinner venue.

NCC’s contracted caterers, SSL, can develop exciting menus with a choice of fare to suit the theme of the evening and the organiser’s pocket. Enquiries to:


State of the Art Conference Equipment
NCC (New Zealand) Ltd, is pleased to announce a strategic agency partnership with Brahler Conference Equipment of Germany. Brahler has been the Europeon communications equipment supplier of choice for the conference industry for multiple digital microphones, multi-tasking translation equipment and wireless congress voting equipment (Digivote) for a number of years.

As the exclusive New Zealand agent for the range of Brahler products, NCC (New Zealand) is now able to provide a comprehensive range of the latest equipment to annual general meetings, international conferences, governmental and corporate assemblies. The equipment is accompanied by a service technician who provides conference communications networking and instructions for the placement and use of the full range of services.

For further information contact: Jane Spiers, NCC (New Zealand) Ltd.
Phone (+64 3) 366-8899
Fax (+64 3) 363 3365


Putting Trust in a Great Venue

The Halberg Trust was delighted with the success of the ‘Say When Sports Awards of New Zealand’ held in the Christchurch Convention Centre on Thursday 15 February.

This impressive venue was the ideal place in which to honour the outstanding sporting performances for the 2000 calendar year. Finalists and winners of Awards were:

Rob Waddell - Swanndri New Zealand Sportsman of the Year
Leilani Joyce - Air New Zealand Sports Woman of the Year
Team New Zealand - ASB Bank New Zealand Sports Team of the Year
Rob Waddell - The Halberg Award 2000

“Once again, I found the staff of the Centre wonderful to work with and committed to creating a special evening. My thanks to all staff involved”.
Dave Currie, Executive Director, The Halberg Trust


5th Annual Smartnet workshops
With its focus on building new partnerships across the private and public sectors by connecting business people, researchers, educators and policy makers, the SmartNet initiative has gone from strength to strength.

SmartNet is a proven vehicle for networking and knowledge sharing as well as quality discussions, strategy and implementation for industry development, including the latest e-commerce issues.

The annual SmartNet Workshops, inaugurated in 1997 by Lyall Lukey of Lukey Training Resources, are the highlight in the SmartNet calendar. “The annual SmartNet Workshops have grown in stature and reputation to a point where they are now a pivotal part of New Zealand’s push towards a knowledge economy,” according to the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

“SmartNet is a proven vehicle for networking and knowledge ...” Lyall Lukey.

The fifth annual SmartNet Workshops will be held at the Christchurch Convention Centre 21-22 November 2001. NCC (New Zealand) is a founding sponsor. To find out more about SmartNet visit:


New Executive Chef

Albert has joined the team at NCC (NZ) Ltd. as our new Executive Chef for the Christchurch Convention Centre, Town Hall and the Westpac Centre. Albert has an extensive twenty-something years of operations experience within the hospitality industry, most recently with the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Christchurch.

Albert's experience includes five years in Australia with 5 star hotels and resorts and a stint preparing delicacies for guests on a 5 star Norwegian cruise liner. All that started with a chef apprenticeship and experience gained during several winter and summer seasons throughout Europe.

He looks forward to offering our clients the opportunity to experience the Convention Centre’s fine cuisine.


Calendar Highlights

Christchurch Town Hall

12 May

John Williamson
15 May

High School Celebrity Debate
16 May

Topp Twins
18 May

23 May

Christchurch Symphony
26 May

June Blood Brothers

Rodger Fox Big Band
7 June

Jazz Gala
7 June

To Dance on the Moon
10 June

13 June

Dutch Swing College Band
16 June

Chamber Music of NZ
18 June

21 June

Chinese Voice
24 June

Christchurch Symphony
30 June

Salon Culinaire
1-2 July

Christchurch Symphony
7 July

Canterbury opera
21-31 July

Christchurch City Choir
3-4 August

Christchurch Symphony
18 August

Christchurch Convention Centre

Bride & Groom Show
4-7 May

PRINZ 2001 Conference
16-19 May

Furniture Show
22-26 June

Restaurant Show
29 Jun-4 July

Business Opportunities

6-8 July

Tech Pacific Conference
15-16 July

Financial Planners Conference
18-21 July

Parenting Show
8-3 August

IUPS Conference
23-31 Aug

Westpac Centre

Smokefree Stage Challenge
7-8 May

Westpac Canty Rams
11,27 May

Canty Expo Trust
12-15 May

17-22 July

Westpac Canty Rams
7,24 June

Christchurch Star Home Show
14-18 June

S. Island Engineering Expo
25-30 June

Westpac Canty Rams
1,14,27 July

5-8 July

Westpac Canty Rams
4 August

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NCC (New Zealand) Ltd, , Christchurch, New Zealand.    Phone:     Fax:     Email