01 Jun 2023
After nearly three years of construction, Wellington’s new convention centre Tākina is officially open!
Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, the 18,000m2 building is situated opposite Te Papa in the heart of Wellington’s compact central city. The new venue was built to enable Wellington to attract international and domestic conferences for the benefit of the city, region, and country and to provide a place from which to share the stories of the nation.
Kura Moeahu, Chair Te Runanganui o Te Āti Awa ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui Inc, was joined by other members of Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Papa's Te Hua Mākihikihi, to officially open the new site at a dawn ceremony with a karakia and blessing of the building on Wednesday 31 May. The blessing was also attended by Wellington City Mayor Tory Whanau, members of the project team, as well as community and Council representatives.
The iconic new venue, located opposite Te Papa, will contribute $44 million a year to the local economy, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Wellington to attend conferences and the large-scale exhibitions it will hold.
“We are very proud to have been involved with Tākina from its inception through to completion and it was very humbling to attend and celebrate the blessing and official civic opening on Wednesday,” says Stephen McDougall, a Founding Director at Studio Pacific Architecture and Design Lead of Tākina. “The project represents an enormous commitment and dedication from a large Studio Pacific design team and our fellow collaborators, consultants and contractors over many years.”
“We congratulate the Wellington City Council and Willis Bond for their leadership and who had the courage and trust in Studio Pacific Architecture to deliver this striking and inspirational building.”
"It is very rewarding to hear stories of Wellingtonians adopting Tākina with pride as it becomes embedded in Te Whanganui-a-Tara,” says Stephen.
There are already 118 multi-day conferences and events on the calendar, and the internationally acclaimed interactive LEGO® brick exhibition, Jurassic World by Brickman®, is getting set to take Wellington on an epic adventure when it opens on Saturday 3rd June.
Tākina will be hosting an open day on Saturday 15 July with guided tours for the public to visit and explore the normally private convention floors.
Read more about the design of Tākina here.