Northland Events Centre
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Like A River by Jo Randerson - Forum North

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 - 7.00pm
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Northland Events Centre / About

"Northland's Premier Events Centre" is Whangarei's newest multi-purpose facility catering for conferences, meetings, dinners, weddings, festivals, concerts and sports events. 

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Northland Events CentreNorthland Events Centre Redevelopment

The Northland Events Centre redevelopment was completed in May 2010 at a cost of $18.5 million. Northland Regional Council contributed $13 million and Whangarei District Council $3 million towards the new Northland Events Centre.

Central Government contributed an additional $2.5 million to allow the events centre facility to meet Rugby World Cup 2011 standards.

The new facility was designed by Copeland Associates Architects and built by Argon Construction. It was officially opened by His Excellency The Right Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand the Governor-General of New Zealand one year after completion on 28 May 2011.

Prior to the redevelopment Okara Park as it was known, was predominantly used for rugby union events and managed by the Northland Rugby Union.

The old facilities served the Whangarei region for the previous 40 years but had reached the end of their economic life.

The old grandstand built in 1965 was not up to the required standard to host high quality sporting fixtures, concerts, cultural events or major functions.

While Northland Rugby is an anchor tenant for the stadium, this is no longer the focus of the event centre.

The event centre provides opportunities for the Northland region to have a quality, well planned and fully equipped venue for major sporting, entertainment, cultural and family events. The venue has a capacity of 18,500.

Governance/ Management

The Northland Events Centre Trust was formally established in 2010 upon the completion of the stadium redevelopment to administer the Events Centre and the Trust Assets. It must do this on a prudent and commercial basis and endeavour to make it a successful and financially autonomous community asset.

The Trust is also charged to exhibit and provide a sense of social and environmental responsibility having regard to the interests of the community as a whole.

In 2011 the Northland Events Centre Trust and the Whangarei District Council entered in to an agreement for the provision of services for the Management, IT, Human Resource and Financial Management functions of the business. These services are now provided to the Trust by Whangarei District Council.

Northland Events Centre Trust Board

  • Photo of Alistair Wells.

    Alistair Wells

    Alistair has lived in Northland  since 1997 where his work has included running an engineering and project  management consultancy, local government and tertiary education. He currently  works at MWA Solutions. With respect to the Northland Events Centre Trust, he has a background in  economic and community development which includes initiatives to encourage  growth and investment in Northland and infrastructure developments to enhance  amenity and recreation in the Far North. He has strong networks with Government  and Local Government and maintains a strong interest in working with projects  that actively enhance the region.
  • Photo of Deborah Harding.

    Deborah Harding

    Acting Chief Executive Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust (Kaipara). Deborah was born in Whangarei and grew up in Ruakaka and Takahiwai and currently resides in the "Blue Goose" Area.
    Deborah's interest in joining the Northland Events Centre Trust is to promote further strategic relationships that will help foster and enhance the growth, development and usage of the events centre. She endeavours to achieves this through her community, business and sporting networks that she has developed across Northland in the past 20 years.
    Deborah is the Kaipara representative for the Taitokerau Whanau or regional leadership group; Chair of Jigsaw North (Counselling agency); Patuharakeke representative for Te Huinga/ Te Karearea - executive partnership with the Whangarei District Council
  • Photo of Ken Wilson.

    Ken Wilson

    Formal qualifications include a Diploma in Management, Diploma in Dairy Technology (Distinction), Post graduate Honours Degree (Demography) and a B.Soc.Sc.(Double major Geography and Sociology).Ken is a fifth generation Northlander, now based back in hometown Whangarei and trading as GT Advantage.  Ken has over 30 years hands-on Operations and General Management experience throughout New Zealand, and across a broad range of business sectors including NZ Dairy Industry, Pulp and Paper, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Contract Packing, and Economic Development.
    Ken’s particular strengths include effective Change Management for companies, Team Performance and Culture, and Good Governance. 
    Ken is on the Board of the Northland Chamber of Commerce, an associate member of NZIM, a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), and a judge for the Northland Business Excellence Awards. He also sits on a number of Advisory Boards for Northland SME businesses.

    Phil Halse