Rotorua's Convention Centre is to be re-named the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre.

The renaming was announced by Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick at last night's "A Knight to Remember" concert, held at the venue on the fifth anniversary of Sir Howard's death.

His son Howard Morrison jnr said the whanau was over the moon at the honour.

"We're really humbled by the gesture - it means a lot to us that Rotorua is paying tribute to dad in this way and recognising him not only as an entertainer, but as someone who contributed in other ways too, supporting youth and fundraising," he said.


"Dad would be very pleased."

Mrs Chadwick said the re-naming reflected the predominant use of the centre and a proposal to turn it into a hub for the city's performing arts and cultural groups with the Rotorua Energy Events Centre now the main venue for conventions and conferences.

Last night's concert took the crowd on a tour through Sir Howard's career and featured a host of well-known Kiwi entertainers who accompanied "Rotorua's favourite son" during his long career.

"It was the right time to be doing this, the right time to be honouring a man who was much more than an entertainer," Mrs Chadwick said.

"He had a passion for this place - he was an ambassador for Rotorua and for New Zealand and an ambassador for the youth of this country. As a council we are very pleased to remember him in this way.

"We all remember Sir Howard in different ways - my early memories of him are as a child, watching and listening to him. Naming this centre after him is recognition of his huge contribution to the arts - moving it into the future but symbolically linking it with our past."

The mayor said the new name would bring more meaning to the centre.

"It will become a local landmark, something that will be directly linked with Rotorua."