National recognition for Whanganui War Memorial Centre

Published on July 22, 2021

Whanganui War Memorial Centre

Following Whanganui’s success in holding the Downer New Zealand Masters Games in February this year, the Whanganui War Memorial Centre has been named as a finalist in the Support – Best Venue 2021 category in the 2021 New Zealand Event Awards.

The Whanganui War Memorial Centre’s forecourt hosted the Games Village during this year’s Downer New Zealand Masters Games, and the centre’s Main Hall was also a venue for several sporting events including Indoor Rowing, Dancesport, Jigsaw Puzzle Racing and the Corporate Challenge.

The awards are held by the New Zealand Events Association (NZEA), which is an independent events-industry body that provides leadership and representation to venues around the country to promote and inspire a world-class events industry in New Zealand.

Whanganui District Council chief executive, Kym Fell, says, “This award nomination is a great encouragement in these times and provides a strong motivation for our Venues & Events team to continue providing innovative and flexible solutions for events that exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Manager for the 2021 Downer New Zealand Masters Games – Whanganui, Rachel Thompson, says, "The Whanganui Venues & Events team were fantastic to deal with in organising this national event. They made the process simple, and their venue and technical support ensured we were able to deliver a top-quality event in Whanganui.

“It's always a pleasure using our wonderful venues around Whanganui to host events such as the Downer New Zealand Masters Games, and the War Memorial Centre was ideal in this instance. Congratulations to the Venues & Events team for receiving this great recognition."

The NZEA judges said the naming of the Whanganui War Memorial Centre as a finalist in this year’s awards was a “significant achievement worthy of celebration” due to the number and quality of entries received across all award categories. Entries in the 2021 New Zealand Event Awards cover the period 2 September 2019 to 5 April 2021.

The Whanganui War Memorial Centre is a living memorial to the 375 servicemen and women from Whanganui who lost their lives during World War II. Built in 1960, the War Memorial Centre is listed as one of the top modernist buildings in the world, and was awarded a gold medal from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1961. Extensive seismic strengthening work was completed in January 2019, which brought the building up to 67 percent of the New Building Standard.

This beautiful and practical building offers great versatility for hosting events. The Whanganui War Memorial Centre includes the Main Hall, Concert Chamber, Pioneer Room (which is suitable for meetings) as well as kitchen facilities.

To book a venue at the War Memorial Centre, please email: or call 06 349 0513. The centre is also open to the public from 10.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday, or by appointment. More information is available at Whanganui Venues & Events.

Winners in the 2021 New Zealand Event Awards will be announced at a gala evening event at the Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre in Hastings on Thursday, 30 September 2021. For more information about the 2021 New Zealand Event Awards, please visit:



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