MEDIA  RELEASE                                    31 August 2005              


New partners to manage Christchurch’s premier venues


Christchurch city has just bought a 50% shareholding in one of the city’s and country’s most successful venue management companies, setting the stage for attracting more multi-million-dollar international conferences and events.


Christchurch City Facilities Ltd (CCFL) announced today its purchase of the 50% shareholding held by NCC Management & Development Co Ltd (Bangkok) in the private venue management company NCC (NZ) Ltd, effective from 1 September, 2005.


CCFL, which is wholly-owned by Christchurch City Council, was set up to oversee operations at the Westpac Centre, Christchurch Town Hall and the Christchurch Convention Centre through an independent board of directors that reports to Christchurch City Holdings Ltd.


NCC (NZ) Ltd was founded in 1995 as a joint venture between the Thailand company (50% share), and Addington Raceway Ltd (ARL), which also owned a 50% share, to manage the above city venues under a venue management contract to the Christchurch City Council. CCFL has, on behalf of the city, purchased the Thai company’s 50% share of this management partnership.


ARL will maintain its 50% shareholding and the existing ARL directors will stay, ensuring their venue management expertise and the private sector culture are not lost to the partnership, which they will now establish with independent directors appointed by CCFL. 


In the last 10 years, under NCC (NZ) Ltd’s management, the venues have gained world ranking in concert ticket sales, received convention industry awards for performance excellence and hosted many world-class touring acts, catapulting Christchurch up the ranks of entertainment and conference destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.


The estimated benefit to the city in the last decade from domestic and international attendance at events hosted by the venues is over $500 million. The venues have hosted New Zealand’s largest conventions and business meetings, set attendance and sales records for indoor concerts and sporting events and led to the development and expansion of specialist supplier companies providing professional goods and services.


The company’s Board of Directors includes chairman Bruce Irvine (Chair), Hanlin Johnstone, Simon Mortlock (representing CCFL), and James Keegan and Mike Godber (representing ARL), with Executive Director Mike Kelly and Company Secretary Brent Ford. Mr Irvine also chairs Jade Stadium Ltd and CCFL.


Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says the share purchase is a natural outcome of the relationship and he thanked the Thai directors for their investment in the city and their support internationally which gave the Convention Centre, in particular, the early opportunity to host significant global business events. Conferences such as APEC, IUPS, Commonwealth Health Ministers, and the Antarctic Treaty Meetings helped showcase and validate Christchurch as an international conference destination.


“The city is grateful for the Thai company’s expertise and experience which helped establish the venues and set up systems that will contribute to attracting and hosting some of the biggest international acts and business events Christchurch has ever seen,” Mr Moore says.


NCC Chairman John Penney, welcomes the new era.  “We wish the new company great success as we continue to play a role with it in this exciting, challenging and competitive industry. Much of the thanks for the continual improvement in revenue and patronage must go to the Thai partners, whom we value very highly, and to our excellent management and staff.”


NCC Executive Director Mike Kelly will stay on until December to assist with the transition, when he leaves to take up a senior role with NCC Management & Development Co Ltd in Bangkok.


Departing Thai NCC director Vanida Tulalamba, Executive Vice President for NCC Management and Development, who has been involved with the Christchurch management contract for the last nine years, says it is with some sadness but much pride that the shareholding is sold to CCFL.


“We are proud of what we have achieved here with the business meetings industry, more than we might have expected, given Christchurch’s distance from the populous areas of the world.  We have truly enjoyed working in the city and making friends in your beautiful country. The larger conferences have brought people here from more than 70 countries, so we can say Christchurch is firmly on the meetings map of the world. We have played a full part in the development of interest by international associations and subsequently hosting their conferences in Christchurch,” Mrs Tulalamba says.


Chairman Bruce Irvine says the private enterprise culture of the company will be retained and it is generally business as usual for staff, suppliers, clients and stakeholders.


“The change in shareholding, governance and management did not anticipate any significant changes in the day to day management of the company,” Mr Irvine says. “The main benefits of CCFL’s shareholding will be an even closer working relationship with the City Council and the financial backing for future capital works and expansion.  Our direct involvement will make further expansion in infrastructure and capacity more achievable.”


Mr Irvine says CCFL’s experience with Jade Stadium Ltd will also be useful in the expanded governance role for CCFL within the new organisation, which will now develop a longer-term strategy to promote an increase in the number of business and entertainment events attracted to Christchurch.




More information:

Bruce Irvine, CCFL Chair, phone , 


For images of venues and events:

Contact Gail Rees phone ,