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Christchurch to host conference supporting children’s right to play

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Christchurch to host conference supporting children’s right to play
New Zealand’s first next-gen convention centre will host a meeting on children’s play when it comes to the southern hemisphere for the first time.

Around 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the four-day International Play Association (IPA) World Conference when it’s held at Te Pae Christchurch in 2026.

The global congress, held once every three years, supports every child’s right to play, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Membership of the association includes play practitioners, researchers, educators and businesses.

The conference bid was presented by Play Aotearoa and is supported by both ChristchurchNZ and the business events team at Tourism New Zealand.

“This is a huge opportunity to put Christchurch and New Zealand on the map for the play sector, and to introduce our unique approach to bi-culturalism, diversity, and inclusion to this global audience,” said general manager of Play Aotearoa, Toni Talijancich.

Head of business events at ChristchurchNZ, Megan Crum said the event would benefit delegates and the host city.

“We have a reputation as a city in balance – a place to work and play. The IPA delegates will be able to experience our wonderful natural South Island playground, and our purpose-built, environment first-hand,” she said.

“Hosting IPA delegates from all over the world to our city will be a thrilling experience for everyone involved, and this event will leave a lasting legacy for our city.”

The host venue, Te Pae Christchurch, began operating in full flight in April 2022, after New Zealand’s tight event capacity restrictions lifted. The centre was the first of three new convention centres to open in New Zealand’s three largest cities, which are paving the way for the country to hold larger international conferences. Wellington’s new convention centre, Tākina, opened in May this year and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) is expected to open in 2025.

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