Whanganui War Memorial Center finalist for New Zealand event location of the year

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The Whanganui War Memorial Center and its forecourt when it was transformed into a Masters Games center. Photo / Bevan Conley

The use of the Whanganui War Memorial Center for this year’s Downer New Zealand Masters Games is in the running for the best event venue in the country.

He is one of three nominees for the title at the New Zealand Event Awards gala.

During the event, the hall building and forecourt were transformed into a play village for competitions as well as social gatherings.

The site competes with the University of Canterbury’s Haere-roa facilities to host the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference, and Claudelands Oval in Hamilton for SIX60 Saturdays.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said the facility was world class, with its growing use indicating its profile across the country.

“It’s a great place. The Pioneer Hall is architecturally a beautiful hall, and the hall itself can accommodate anything. It has hosted the Labor Party conference, ballroom dancing and things in between,” he said. McDouall said.

“Memorial Hall has a proven track record, and when you have such a venue, it’s ideal for something like the Masters Games.”

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McDouall said the original concept for the site during construction was to be a community-driven space, which continues to this day.

“It has hosted religious festivals, exhibitions, public meetings, a fashion show and concerts. It can accommodate a large number of people and a variety of events.

“It’s quite exciting to see this great work recognized with this nomination.”

The award winners will be announced at the NZEA Event Awards gala evening in Hastings on September 30.


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