Best Live Entertainment Venue goes to… Haere-roa

At this year’s Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence. The University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA) was awarded OneMusic’s "Best Live Entertainment Venue" for their muti-faceted hub, Haere-roa.

The Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence recognise the best businesses and people across the food & beverage and accommodation sectors. OneMusic checked in with Jeremy Hanna, Director of Commercial Operations at UCSA, to chat about what makes Haere-roa such a unique, special venue for live music events in Christchurch.

Jeremy Hanna, Director of Commercial Operations at UCSA & OneMusic Director, Greer Davies.

Since July 2019, Haere-roa quickly became a bustling hub of UC students and the UCSA, offering a diverse range of live entertainment opportunities to host both students and the wider Cantabrian community alike.

Jeremy explains the impressive scale of Haere-roa which boasts five impressive spaces which all flow into each other cohesively to create the seamless events they’re well-known for.


The purpose-built space includes student welfare and advocacy spaces, as well as facilities for clubs, hospitality, meetings and events.

The Ngaio Marsh Theatre is Haere-roa’s renown space with the Ti Kōuka function centre next door offering a premium second stage that can also act as an outdoor amphitheatre overlooking the Avon River. Two bars The Foundry and Bentley’s plus an outdoor field are also linked to the space, keeping bustling guests busy during events and throughout the week.

Jeremy says a key feature of Haere-roa is the iconic Ngaio Marsh Theatre, re-imagined for future generations. “The theatre itself is pretty amazing,” says Jeremy, “It’s technologically advanced so we’re always trying to take advantage of everything we can in that space.”

Overall, the design of Haere-roa means we can be packing out a concert at 4am and be ready for pack in for a ballet concert at 7:30am

The OneMusic award for "Best Live Entertainment Venue" recognises the UCSA’s commitment to being a OneMusic licenced venue and their passion for ensuring the small things add up to create seamless experience for guests.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience. Things like having the lighting match the event, utilising the space well in terms of how the speakers are placed,” says Jeremy.

At the heart of it making sure we’re setting the right tone and ambience for an event – it all makes a difference.

From rowdy Uni events and top touring DJs to the beautiful ballets - the space really does it all and Jeremy is proud to have received the OneMusic award on behalf of the UCSA team who do their best to go above and beyond to create memorable experiences.

Amongst hosting top local and international talent and creating unforgettable ‘rite of passage’ events for the students, Jeremy says a highlight was bringing in snow from Mt Hutt to create a snow ramp - an activation that showcased their commitment to bringing creative ideas to life.

What remains central to the UCSA is their commitment to ensure Haere-roa embodies the story behind its name - manaakitanga (hospitality), Te Aranga (Māori design principles) and whakapapa (geneology, descent from people and land) which are the central mauri (values) for the space. 

Click here to explore Haera-roa.

Learn more about the music licences we have available for your business here.