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Behind the Scenes - Number 11 Octobert 2001

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

Welcome to our Southern Hemisphere summer with plenty of things happening at our venues.

Recently the Christchurch Convention Centre and Town Hall hosted the country’s largest professional association meeting. From 26–31 August we were at the centre of the biomedical universe with the 34th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. It was a complex and large-scale event we had worked long and hard on. All that effort well and truly paid off. We couldn’t have done it without our business partners, professional, technical and support staff and service providers, and the hundreds of people who worked in and around the venue that last week in August.

The Board of Directors join me in thanking everyone who helped make August such a spectacular success. We can now truly say we are a respected member on the international convention circuit.

Ernst and Young estimate the Congress boosted the local economy by $20.5 million. Just two of several upcoming conferences - International Association of operating Room Nurses Conference (September), and the NZ Law Society Conference - will generate an extra $35 million in economic impact from the convention facilities in the space of three months.

Christchurch is the only city in New Zealand able to offer these purpose built facilities. The Christchurch City Council again deserves congratulations for its foresight in providing them.

Mike Kelly CFE
Executive Director Executive





Recent Highlights
The Town Hall hosted some marvellous productions
during the Christchurch Arts Festival in July-August,
including a sell-out season for Canterbury operas Tales
of Hoffman, and the critically acclaimed Spring Tides
with the Christchurch City Choir and Christchurch

After 28 years, the Christchurch Town Hall now has
its name up over the front doors! Care was taken to
ensure the new letters fitted in perfectly with the original
architectural style.

Italys living cartoon Ennio Marchetto revealed some
of his cast of hundreds when he performed in the James
Hay Theatre mid-September.

Peter Yates of Ashburton became the 500,000th visitor
to the Westpac Centre in May when he attended
the Smokefree Stage Challenge and was surprised
but delighted to receive a large gift hamper and a
Queenstown holiday.

Chart topping American Rock Band TOOL performed at the Westpac Centre.



International Union of Physiological Sciences
Largest professional association meeting held in New Zealand.

Auditorium in session There was a lot riding on the successful hosting of one of the world’s largest and most influential medical-scientific professional meetings, held at the Convention Centre and Town Hall 26–31 August. By the end of the week Christchurch, and New Zealand, had secured a shining professional reputation in the intensely competitive international convention industry.


One of the busiest places during the Congress was the first floor computer suite, where 100 computers provided by Compaq were ready and waiting for delegates to check their email and Internet access.


The successful bid for the Congress, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific meetings, was made in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1997. The Congress brought 2500 delegates from 70 countries to Christchurch.


Exhibition Hall An international scientific exhibition was staged in association with the Congress, with workshops on recent technological advances, and local displays.

Molecule to Malady – Congress theme Each day began with a lecture on a cutting-edge topic by distinguished scientists. The venues proved superb for the participatory congress, with an emphasis on informality and involvement. Specific sessions were offered for research scientists, educators and health professionals. Up to 50 scientific poster focus groups were scheduled for 3 hours each day.



New Grand Piano for Town Hall
The auditorium has a brand new Steinway Model D 9ft Grand, recently delivered by the German manufacturer, and valued in excess of $240,000. Building Services Manager, Richard Maffey, said international concert pianists expect a Steinway to perform on. “The Steinway is still the Rolls Royce of concert pianos. It’ll be a fine asset to the Concert Hall and in that wonderful acoustic space will display its full brilliance and projection.”


Town Hall Organ
New Steinway Grand for the Christchurch Town Hall

The pipe organ celebrates its fifth birthday in May next year – with an International Concert series to celebrate.

A highlight will be Gloucester Cathedral organist, David Griggs, on 12 May. Organ curator Martin Setchell said there is a growing audience for organ music, evidenced by brisk sales of the two CDs featuring the organ (Let the Pealing Organ Blow! and Bonbons for Organ), and the thousands of visitors to the 75-page web site: – the most popular pages are the sound files, screensavers page and the story of how the organ was installed.

(CDs are available from the Christchurch Town Hall, P O Box 13-144 Christchurch).



Christmas celebrations
Christmas at the Christchurch Convention Centre has something for corporates, companies, clubs, sporting groups, friends and visitors alike. Join the party or make up your own. We have plenty of Christmas party options – from breakfasts, brunches, lunches, teas, dinners and banquets.

Whatever you dream up we will bring true! Celebrate with us – i t ’s the guaranteed stress-free way to survive Christmas festivities. Phone Nikki Goodwin on 363 3368 to talk about and book your Christmas function.



Calendar Highlights

Christchurch Town Hall

Canterbury opera’s Turandot
9, 11, 13, 16, 20 October

28 Oct – 4 Nov

Chamber Music of NZ
1 November

Christchurch Symphony
3, 23 & 29 Nov and 15 December

Eric Burdon & The New Animals
9 November Christchurch

Polytechnic Fashion Show
10 November

National Toastmasters Convention
17 November

Christchurch City Choir presents The Messiah
7 December

Canterbury University Graduation
12 December

Christchurch Convention Centre

NZ Law Society Conference
48 October

Haemophilia Foundation International Conference
18 October

Alzheimers Disease Conference
2427 October

Agribusiness & food Congress
2931 October

NZ Contractors Federation Gala Dinner
10 November

NZ Sheepbreeders Association, 6th World Wool Event
1116 Nov

Commonwealth Health Ministers Symposium 2001
2330 November

House of Travel Expo
1 December

Southern World Vacations
8 December

Flight Centre Expo
10 February

Westpac Centre

Vodafone Silver Ferns v. Australia netball Fisher & Paykel Series
27 October

Flying Fruit Fly Circus
8–11 November

Robbie Williams
13–14 November

Special Children’s Christmas Party
1 December

The Great China Circus
22–24 February



Congratulations to Mike Kelly, CFE
Executive Director Mike Kelly has been elected incoming President of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM). He’s been a member for 21 years and certified as a facilities Executive since 1992. The 80 year old IAAM is based in Dallas, Texas, with an international membership of about 3300 managers of arenas, stadiums, performing arts centres and convention centres. The majority of members are based in North America, with Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand comprising about 10% of the professional body. Mike will be the first president elected from outside continental North America.

“This position puts Christchurch in a situation where it’s recognised as an international leader in public assembly management, and that puts the spotlight on our facilities, such as the purpose built Convention Centre and Westpac Centre. It also makes us more visible and opens the doors to the sister organisations catering for the lucrative and demanding event market, the International Association of Exhibition Management,” Mike said.



New Appointments
Welcome to Derrick Unwin, Rosemary Schulte, Angela Ross and Nikki Goodwin.

DERRICK UNWIN is the new technical services Manager. His action-packed CV includes being a British paratrooper, lighting designer, tour manager, running his own music production, recording and publishing business, hotel and restaurant management. It has a gap of two years, 1981- 83, when he was in spinal rehabilitation recovering from a car accident, that has left him with an immobile right arm… but that doesn’t stop him doing much! Derrick said the Christchurch Town Hall is a world-class venue with excellent equipment that’s well serviced and continually updated, and the technical crews are well respected for their can-do attitudes and exceptional service. Contact Derrick on or ext 865 or email:


ROSEMARY SCHULTE is Event Services Manager, responsible for event co-ordination to all hirers of the three venues managed by NCC (New Zealand) Ltd. Rosemary was well known in her previous position with Air New Zealand where she played a key support role and managed a large marketing portfolio, including the Canterbury Crusaders, Air New Zealand NPC, Canterbury opera and the Court Theatre. Rosemary will continue to work closely with the arts and will work in with conference events. Contact Rosemary on or email:


ANGELA ROSS is our new Event Co-ordinator. Angela joins us from Melbourne where she had a similar role in an internet software company. Contact Angela on or email


NIKKI GOODWIN joins us as sales and Marketing Assistant, bringing enthusiasm and event management experience from previous roles with an international HR company. Nikki is the person to contact for all booking enquiries, on or email:


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