Northland Events Centre
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Saturday, 11 July 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
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Semenoff Stadium / About


Semenoff Stadium is Whangarei's newest multi-purpose facility catering for conferences, meetings, dinners, weddings, festivals, concerts and sports events. 

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Northland Events CentreStadium Redevelopment

The Semenoff Stadium 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 Daniel Yorke.

    Daniel Yorke

    Daniel Yorke was born and raised in Whangarei. He grew up in Waipu and Ruakaka and still resides in the Bream Bay District.
    He's been a Chartered Accountant for over 20 years, self-employed for over 10 and the Director of his own Accounting practice called Yorke Stone and Associates. The firm is based in Whangarei and is made up of a team of 8.
    He is passionate about what goes on in Whangarei and is especially interested in how he can use his skills as an accountant, businessman, rugby supporter and entertainer to help and contribute towards the sustainability of the Northland Event Centre and therefore Whangarei's and the Region's economic growth.
  • Photo of Phil Halse.

    Phil Halse

    Phil Halse, Ex Farmer, Waipu rugby supporter,  Former Player, Chairman, President, current Patron and Life Member of the Northland Rugby Union.  Past board member of the Chiefs and Blues Super Rugby Franchises.

    Current Bream Bay Ward councillor on the Whangarei District Council. 27 consecutive years as a councillor holding various role with-in different councils from Committee Chairman, Inner City 20/20 Development Chairman, Deputy Mayor, Acting Mayor.

    Gave the welcoming speech to dignitaries at the 2011 Rugby World cup on behalf of Northlanders. A dedicated all sport supporter with vast Governance and financial experience.