The Northland Events Centre is a well-functioning multi-use facility but still a less-than-profitable public asset.

However, this could be the year the four-year-old centre breaks even, according to a Board of Trustees report to Northland Regional Council (NRC).

In 2014, Whangarei District Council (WDC), which has an agreement with the trust to fund operating deficits, underwrote $174,688 losses. Those were brought about by Refining NZ giving up its naming rights of the level two lounge, inside maintenance and a $117,000 refit of ground floor office space for tenants, Ngatiwai Trust.

NRC representative on the events centre board, Alastair Wells told the NRC meeting on Tuesday that the majority of bookings were not sports related despite some big ticket sports events last year, including an international rugby league test.


Other events included concerts, fireworks displays, open air cinema, awards dinners, conferences and festivals including Whangarei's big Christmas show. An average of 77,000 people go through the doors annually.

Mr Wells said the centre is still building its brand with the help of large and small backers, and hopes to build interest in naming rights. It also has to operate in a highly competitive market, competing for big New Zealand sports events. The Okara Park stadium cost $18.5 million to build, amid much controversy, in 2010.