News | 23 October 2021
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Tākina partnership with Te Papa proposed

Wellington City Council is proposing an exciting partnership with Te Papa to deliver world-leading events and exhibitions at Tākina Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Cable Street exterior of Takina.

Bringing Te Papa’s exhibitions and events expertise to Tākina and working with the Council and WellingtonNZ will support the promotion of the Capital as a destination city for hosting local and international events.


“The proposed operating model for Tākina is one of partnership and collaboration between the Council, Te Papa and WellingtonNZ. We intend to deliver an authentic Wellington experience, showcasing local produce, providing training and employment for young Wellingtonians adding further vitality to our city. The partnership will engage Te Papa’s unique skills and experience in delivering home grown and international exhibitions and high-quality events. It also supports the event attraction work of WellingtonNZ,” says Mayor Andy Foster.


“Tākina’s 10,000 square metres of flexible, multi-purpose conference and exhibition space, spread across three floors, are in walking distance to Te Papa and other venues around the city, which creates opportunities to deliver unique events on a scale the capital hasn’t seen before.


“We think Takina will have many significant competitive advantages over other centres. Our arts, business and events sectors moved quickly to provide online or smaller events under the Covid-19 restrictions over the past two years. However, it is widely understood across these industries that people want to return to live events as the restrictions lessen over time, which we envisage will be in place by the time Tākina opens in July 2023.” 


Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says: “We expect Tākina will make a significant contribution to Wellington’s economy and create new jobs, which will be welcome news across our arts, events, accommodation, and hospitality sectors, who’ve been affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns and ongoing visitor restrictions.


We’re excited to be part of this amazing new asset for the city and see Tākina bringing in new experiences for locals and complement what we have to offer at Te Papa,” says Courtney Johnston, Chief Executive Tumu Whakarae of Te Papa. “The proximity of Tākina, Te Papa and the waterfront presents an opportunity to celebrate the unique qualities of Te-Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.”


WellingtonNZ Chief Executive John Allen says Tākina will be a huge asset for the city. “It’ll attract thousands of visitors and add to the vibrancy of our CBD. It is great to be working closely with Te Papa and the Council to bring the Convention and Exhibition Centre to life and ensure its future success.”

The joint operating model was originally proposed as part of the business case for Tākina adopted by the Council in December 2018. The Council has worked extensively with Te Papa and WellingtonNZ to finalise the details for how the model would be implemented.


The proposal will be presented to the Council on Thursday 28 October. If the proposal is adopted, Te Papa would market and operate both its facilities and Tākina to attract and deliver a wider range of conventions, exhibitions and events under the name ‘Tākina Events’.


Under Tākina Events the city will provide a world-class convention and exhibition centre experience in Wellington through the integrated management and operation of the Te Papa and Tākina venue spaces. Partnering with local service providers and suppliers Tākina Events will deliver a uniquely Wellington experience. Learn more about the proposal in the Council paper on our website.


Mana Whenua have played a key role in shaping the building’s unique design and spaces in a number of ways. Taranaki Whānui gifted the name ‘Tākina’ to reflect its role as the nation’s newest meeting space for thinking, creating, learning and sharing ideas, along a karakia describing the different winds which cross Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington harbour). The sweeping architecture also invokes Wellington’s well-known winds and how they shape our harbour and city.


About Tākina

Tākina has been designed with a flexible floor plan and modern light-filled spaces that can be customised to suit all event types. It also provides inhouse audio-video and lighting, supported by experienced Wellington-based staff.


The ground-floor Exhibition Gallery will be the largest in New Zealand at about 1600sqm.  Larger-scale international touring exhibitions will be able to be hosted here to attract visitors to the capital, as well as locals.


Nationally-developed and curated exhibitions can be premiered here before touring overseas - exhibitions that showcase the cutting edge and creative talents of Wellington and New Zealand. A café will be open to the public seven days a week.


The top two floors will deliver the Capital's first premium space to host meetings and conventions with over 10,000sqm of flexible meeting and exhibition space able to be scaled to suit event sizes.

Wellington has been a successful convention destination for many years but at the same time has been hampered by the lack of high-quality venues. Although the world of mega conferences might look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the small to medium-sized events Tākina is designed for will remain relevant and will meet the needs of the national and Asia-Pacific market.