Carterton Events Centre. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Elisa Vorster
elisa.volster@age.co.nz

Carterton Events Centre has been named one of the country’s top venues, showing that the little town can take on bigger cities when it comes to putting on a good show.

The centre was confirmed on Wednesday as a finalist for the Small Venue of the Year category in the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand Awards.

The annual awards recognises the success and achievements of various venues throughout New Zealand.

For the second time in the past three years, the Carterton centre is one of three finalists nationwide vying for the award.

Being the only venue outside a city to be recognised, the centre is punching well above its weight, going up against big city venues such as Auckland’s ASB Waterfront Theatre and the Q Theatre.

The centre has been providing the region with premier functions since it opened in 2011. It hosted Pink Floyd tribute band Eclipse in what was the largest concert production to be brought to the centre.

It will also be hosting the Home & Interiors show today for the first time.

Venue co-ordinator David Sims said it was “incredibly exciting” the facility had been recognised on a national level.

“To become a finalist at these prestigious awards is a true testament to the whole team at the centre who work so hard to maintain an exceptional reputation,” he said.

Carterton Mayor John Booth said the venue continued to go from strength to strength and and he wasn’t surprised to see it being recognised nationally.

“The feedback we get about the centre is overwhelming.

“No one expects a state-of-the-art venue such as ours to be located in little old Carterton, but when they visit and experience the phenomenal facility and exceptional service from the team, it wins them over every time.”

The building features a new auditorium and meeting spaces while incorporating one of New Zealand’s oldest library buildings – a recognised historic building on the New Zealand Heritage List.

Its design also uses best practice ‘environmentally-sustainable design’ principles.

Special features include using rainwater recycling to flush toilets, a passive thermal design and low- and zero-emission finishes.

The auditorium is also known for its use of Wairarapa-grown and milled timber from the JNL mill in its design.

It is also the second building worldwide to use a New Zealand-developed application to make walls earthquake-resistant.

The winner will be announced at the Evanz awards dinner at Eden Park in Auckland on November 27.