It is one of the city's first major events since the devastating earthquake that struck three years ago and resulted in Christchurch losing its hosting rights for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Kiwi music stars Ginny Blackmore, band Sole Mio, Hayley Westenra, the New Zealand Army Band all wowed the crowd with their energetic performances. The show also comprised cultural performances and guest appearances by New Zealand cricket legends Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming, and current captain Brendon McCullum. Skipper McCullum got the loudest cheers when he went up to the stage.
The programme concluded with a massive fireworks display here. Co-hosts New Zealand take on Sri Lanka at the Hagley Oval ground in the first match of the 14-nation tournament here Feb 14. Australia take on England on the same day in Melbourne.
A similar ceremony took place at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl to declare the tournament open in Australia.
Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Wally Edwards unveiled the World Cup. "Australia and New Zealand are keen on-field cricket rivals, but there has been a strong trans-Tasman spirit in their joint venture helping to organise this Cricket World Cup over the last 10 years," he said. Matches will be played in 14 host cities across the two countries over the next six weeks.