Tākina provides huge boost to Wellington economy

The exterior of Tākina from Cable street in day time, a tree sits on the left and the building itself has the reflection of blue skies.

Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre opened on 1 June offering 18,000 square metres of event facilities across three floors in the heart of the city opposite Te Papa Tongarewa.

In the six months since opening, the centre has hosted 70 events, 38 of which were multi-day conferences with an average attendance of 442 delegates.

The first official conference held at Tākina was the Festival for the Future, Aotearoa’s biggest leadership and innovation summit. In October, Tākina hosted its largest conference so far when Water New Zealand attracted more than 1,400 participants and 200 exhibitors.

Overall, 22,000 delegates have attended conferences at Tākina since June. Delegates have spent an estimated $24 million in Wellington based on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Business Events Research Programme data which measured the spending of out-of-town delegates at multi-day business events. The 2018 business case for Tākina estimated the total delegate spend at $12.4 million for its first year of operation.

Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau says: “The economic benefits are excellent, underlining the importance of this wonderful venue to the city. Wellington is now able to host conferences, exhibitions and events that had not been possible before.”

Tākina is also home to a world-class exhibition space. Its first offering was Jurassic World by Brickman, featuring six million Lego bricks, and proved a hit with Wellingtonians and visitors alike. The exhibition attracted a total of 92,000 people over four months, 36% of whom came from outside the Wellington region.

The next exhibition is Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition which opens on December 14. In June next year, it will be the turn of Doctor Who: Wonders of the World.

John Allen, chief executive of the city’s economic development agency WellingtonNZ, says Tākina was a vital asset, bringing people and business to Wellington and had already more than proven its worth.

“The economic impact Tākina is making to Wellington is phenomenal, particularly at a time when hospitality and retail businesses are finding it tough. This shows the importance of investing in key projects to ensure a vibrant and thriving future for the capital.”

Meanwhile, Tākina Commercial Development general manager David Perks says the facility is delivering a significant number of additional visitors to Wellington.

“The 22,000 delegates welcomed in the first six months are providing the immediate impact of spending in our city economy while also having important conversations in their subject field about matters which are important to New Zealand.

“Hosting conferences brings people to Wellington at different times of year to our leisure visitors and these visitors enjoy all the hospitality our city has to offer. It is exciting to see the future conferences that have confirmed they will be using Tākina and making a meaningful difference to our economy,” he says.

Tākina is in for a busy 2024 with more than 100 bookings so far including a range of major domestic and international conferences.

In May it will be the venue for TRENZ, New Zealand’s most important tourism trade event — the first time the conference has been held in Wellington.

Other key events booked for next year include BioTech New Zealand’s Life Science Summit in March, Financial Advice New Zealand’s Thrive Conference and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases’ Annual Scientific Meeting.

Date published: 6 December 2023