Rebuild leader and The Arts Centre chief executive resigns

Regenerate Christchurch chairman and The Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt has resigned from his position to take up a new role as Auckland Airport’s General Manager, Airport Development and Delivery.

In late 2015, Mr Lovatt was appointed chair-designate of the newly formed Regenerate Christchurch, an organisation created in partnership between the Crown and the city council to undertake the planning of significant regeneration projects.

Since the establishment of the organisation in April 2016, Regenerate Christchurch has undertaken a number of major planning projects, including the recent release of 10 possible combinations of land uses for the 602-hectare Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area and initial development concepts for Cathedral Square.

The Arts Centre recruited Mr Lovatt as chief executive in October 2012 to lead its $290 million restoration programme.

After being completely closed following extensive damage in the February 2011 earthquake, the Arts Centre is currently more than half re-opened to the public, with a large number of buildings housing new tenants.

The Arts Centre has won a number of local and international heritage restoration and architecture awards.

Arts Centre chairperson Felicity Price says Mr Lovatt will be missed by everyone who has been involved in the project.

“There is no doubt that during his five-year tenure, André has brought the Arts Centre forward into the 21st Century, from a badly broken collection of earthquake-damaged buildings to a site that is now vibrant and populated,” Ms Price said.

“I have been extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to the restoration of the Arts Centre – an awesome responsibility given so many residents and visitors to Christchurch hold the place very dear.

“Working alongside some amazingly talented and dedicated people – in particular the Arts Centre staff who have been nothing short of inspirational in the care, professionalism and sheer determination they have brought to the project – I feel honoured to have been part of what has been an incredibly challenging, creative and ultimately rewarding process.

Mr Lovatt will take up his new role at Auckland Airport in late February 2018.