April 1, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

New Zealand’s newest convention centre, Te Pae Christchurch, which officially opened in December 2021, has received another sustainability award for its offering, gaining a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award from Qualmark.

Te Pae already has gold enviromark certification from Toitū Envirocare, indicating the venue has a strong plan to deliver on its environmental policy and a robust environmental management system.

“Very early on in our journey at Te Pae Christchurch we set a standard for how we want to operate and work with clients, suppliers and our industry,” said Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele.

“Sustainability and strong focus on customer service are key pillars for us and it’s humbling to see our efforts recognised with gold by the Qualmark team.”

Qualmark’s award is judged across four areas – economic, environment and culture, social/people and health and safety. For the 26 sector-specific criteria, Te Pae was acknowledged for its best practice in six criteria and received high marks for the other 20. Its performance across the the economic and environment and culture pillars was of particular note, with Qualmark highlighting in its feedback that “environmental commitment goes right across every aspect of your core operation”.

Amongst Te Pae’s sustainability initiatives are a commitment to source 60 per cent of its food and beverage from within the Canterbury region, in which it sits, derive 85 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and to process all of its food waste onsite via a dehydrator to turn it into compost material for local market gardens and schools. The venue is also working towards becoming plastic free.

With gathering limits recently easing to 200 people and the next review due on Monday, Steele told media at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) in Melbourne last week he was confident that Te Pae would be able to return to running large events after Easter.

Te Pae is the first next-generation convention centre to open in New Zealand, with Tākina in Wellington expected to open mid-next year and New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) expected to open in Auckland in 2025.