When the Christchurch town hall opened in 1972, it was the first new town hall in New Zealand in nearly 50 years. It comprises an auditorium, a theatre (the James Hay Theatre), and conference and catering facilities. Christchurch architectural firm Warren and Mahoney designed it in the modernist style, of which it is one of the country's best examples among public buildings. Its success led to the firm designing the Michael Fowler Centre, a civic auditorium built in Wellington in the early 1980s. Auckland built a new civic auditorium soon after – the Aotea Centre. Both northern cities kept their existing town halls. This view shows part of the James Hay Theatre, with the town hall restaurant cantilevered over the Avon River. Damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, the town hall was rebuilt and reopened in 2019.
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