Asia Pacific Updates

Ross Steele to lead Christchurch convention centre ahead of 2020 opening

AEG Ogden will operate the new centre, with Ross Steele at the helm.

Experienced convention centre executive, Ross Steele has been promoted to general manager of Te Pae Christchurch, ahead of its opening next year.

Set to open in October 2020, Te Pae will have capacity to host up to 2,000 delegates for a variety of national and international events. It will feature a 1,400 seat auditorium, 3,600sqm of exhibition space and 24 meeting rooms.
This follows the announcement at AIME this week that AEG Ogden will operate Te Pae Christchurch.

Te Pae artist’s impression

Steele has served as general manager of the AEG Ogden-managed Cairns Convention Centre for the past 12 years and brings an impressive industry record to his new role.

Under his watch, the centre was ranked number one in the world by the Association of International Congress Centres in 2014 and named in Queensland Tourism’s Hall of Fame for winning the Business Events category three years running. He also oversaw a recent AU$14 million refurbishment of the venue.

Steele says he looks forward to utilising AEG’s global connections and working with venue owner, Otakaro, to achieve great outcomes for both Te Pae and Christchurch.

Te Pae construction well underway

“Our priority will be to attract international conventions which will both benefit the economy and showcase Christchurch and New Zealand to the world,” he says.

AEG Ogden director of convention centres, Geoff Donaghy congratulated Steele, saying he has the experience and skills to lead an executive team through pre-opening and securing important conventions and content for the new venue.

“His track-record in Cairns stands him in good stead to take on the challenge of managing this new venue and is ready to hit the ground running.”

Meanwhile, Janet Hamilton, who has served as general manager of the Darwin Convention Centre since 2013, will replace Steele in Cairns.