The New Zealand International Exhibition (the biggest in the country to that time) opened 1 November 1906 in Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand. Nearly two million people visited the exhibition during the next few months. A branch railway line was built across North Hagley Park to service the exhibition. The attractions included New Zealand’s first professional symphony orchestra (conducted by Alfred Hill), and the first Dominionpipe band contest which was won by the Dunedin Highland Pipe Band. The exhibition closed on 15 April 1907 and the remaining buildings had been removed by the end of August 1907.
The architect for the buildings was Joseph Clarkson Maddison. He also designed the Carlton Hotel, which was commissioned by the Wards's Brewery to be built in time for the International Exhibition.