Facts & Figures

  • >200New jobs created

  • 40:60Funded by downtown targeted rates & general rates

  • $21.4mIncrease to Wellington economy

  • $4mBudgeted cost per year

The Council has consulted on and received strong support for a new convention centre for Wellington. We are currently re-assessing options for the delivery of a facility with capacity to host conferences of up to 1200 delegates and banquets of 1150.

Artists impression of the new Wellington Convention Centre
Artist's impression of the proposed Wellington Convention Centre

Though Wellington is already New Zealand’s second largest convention destination, we do not have a purpose-built conference venue. With Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all planning new convention centres, competition is getting tougher.

The Wellington Convention Centre will allow the city to maintain and increase its market share in the lucrative conference market, creating jobs and bringing up to $21.4 million a year into the Wellington economy.

Increasing the number of conferences held in Wellington will also attract events, increase Wellington’s international profile, and encourage Wellington businesses and research organisations to strengthen connections with their counterparts overseas.

Without a dedicated convention centre, it is expected that Wellington will lose a share of the convention business to other cities.


  • Increase international visitor numbers.
  • Create more than 200 new jobs.
  • Boost growth in hospitality, tourism, retail and other sectors.
  • Protect and create new expenditure of $40 million per year in the city.
  • Increase international profile and strengthen international connections.


  • Funding of the Council’s contribution to this initiative is proposed that this be split between; the Downtown Targeted rate 40 percent; and general ratepayers 60 percent.
  • The budgeted cost is an operational grant of $4 million per annum, from 2016/17.

What you think

59% Feedback received that supports our overall plan

37 Number of times people have told us what they think about this idea

54% Feedback received that supports this idea

#18 Out of 28 ideas based on amount of feedback received.

Who would benefit most?

28% Local businesses
27% Visitors to Wellington
16% Local residents
16% Future generations
13% NZ as a whole
  • Local residents
  • Local businesses
  • Visitors to Wellington
  • NZ as a whole
  • Future generations
  • Other

How should we prioritise it?

49% Quite low
27% High
16% Quite high
5% Low
3% Neutral
  • Quite low
  • Low
  • Neutral
  • Quite high
  • High
  • Selwyn, Owhiro Bay

    Too late. Ak and Chch have stolen the march.
    With the Australian economy stalling who else is the target audience? While our public sector like their conferences they a decreasing audience.

  • Daniela

    The business case and market investigation seem weak at best. I don't think this would improve life fore residents.

  • Anonymous, Island Bay

    I think our current venues (Town Hall, Opera House, St James Theatre, TBS Arena) are under utilised and need to be enhanced and protected before we consider building a new centre - maybe if all the above centres were overflowing with events and conferences then we would need a new one, but I think the focus should first be on attracting events to those through better marketing before focusing on building a new conference centre.

  • Steve, Mount Cook

    This is required if Wellington is to compete for quality international conferences which can pump money into the local economy.

  • Sam, Island Bay

    This is a terrible idea. If there is demand for a convention centre, a convention centre will be built by the market. But building the centre won't spur demand; it has to happen the other way around.

    This is great for business owners who want to have events in Wellington without making any of the capital investment (but taking all the profit from said events). It's also great for contractors who want to get a piece of that several million dollar deal. It's not great for regular working stiffs like you and me who will pay for this in the form of opportunity cost but will not see one iota of the benefit.

    As for uniqueness, it's the most un-unique idea ever. By building a convention centre we could take our place in the long long line of sucker cities who have funded ridiculous ideas for cashed-up rent-seekers. Lucky us.

  • steve, Brooklyn

    None. They are building one in Auckland, one in Christchurch and possibly two competing ones in Queenstown. AKL and CHCH both have major international airports. It will be a white elephant - like the stadium.

  • Jos, Kelburn

    I do not believe the business case and demand is robust enough to build another convention centre to compete in a "race to the bottom" with Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown. We may be better to go for high-value niche conferences and fully exploit the superb existing venues we have such as Te Papa, MFC, Town Hall etc. With an additional convention centre in Wellington, we may well find that all these venues become unprofitable and require overall more support to maintain. I am also unsure there is sufficient trickle-down benefit to Ratepayers to justify the likely ongoing commitment of rates to prop up another Convention venue.