Around New Zealand

Upping Wairarapa’s ante

Thursday, 19 April 2018 02:50

Brand new experiences and developments in the Wairarapa are just some of the ways the region is redefining itself when it comes to business events, which Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock says is imperative when attracting more business.

‘Securing more small-to-medium size business events, conferences and incentive groups is a priority and the region’s industry leaders are taking a collaborative approach to ensure that happens,’ he says.

Rebrand for GSE

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 22:45

Global Sports & Events is this week rebranding to Fortis Events.

Managing director Joelle Talbot says the change in brand reflects the significant growth over the past year in corporate incentive management.

Breaking the fast at Convene 2018

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 21:31

A full day of convening started with a breakfast put on by Austins Food Design, with Dave Sutherland from Whoa! Studios putting on a presentation to get delegates inspired for the day.

Speaking about the concept of being 'there and back' again, Sutherland informed the group on his journey from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur and then coming back again with Whoa! Studios' foray into

Auckland's edu conference win

Thursday, 29 March 2018 01:10

Auckland has won the bid to host a major international education conference.

The three-day Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Annual Conference and Exhibition will be held at the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in 2021.

South Canterbury on show

Monday, 26 March 2018 23:10

South Canterbury is now on show with the launch of a new guided tour company.

Explore South Canterbury, a subsidiary of Pleasant Point transport company Aitkinson and Dossett, has launched a new service with a guided agricultural tour, taking in some of the best scenery, experiences and food in the

Meet, play, sleep with VEC

Thursday, 22 March 2018 20:44

Vodafone Event Centre’s gearing up for a big couple of months, as it prepares to showcase its offerings at both Convene (held at the centre) on 10 April and MEETINGS on 30-31 May.

Second Nature Charitable Trust (SNCT) chief operating officer Karyn Spencer says the VEC’s latest campaign, Meet. Play. Sleep. will be emblazoned across its six-stand exhibit space and the mood will be ‘celebratory’.

Gold Coast connects in Auckland

Monday, 19 March 2018 23:03

Both new and familiar favourites from across the ditch were in Auckland last week as part of Gold Coast Connect.

Hosted in Grand Mercure Auckland’s funky laneway, PCOs, incentive operators and corporate travel managers received an update on new developments on the coast as it heads into the Commonwealth Games next month.

Christchurch conference wins

Monday, 19 March 2018 20:07

A Christchurch conference has been recognised among the world’s best at the Eventex 8th Global Event Awards.

The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 (SEWF 2017) and hosted by the Ākina Foundation and organised by New Zealand professional conference organiser Conference Innovators, was awarded second place in the Best

Site prime for redevelopment

Monday, 12 March 2018 21:34

A prominent city block of land in Tauranga’s central business district has been placed on the market for sale, with the property cited as a potential spot for a hotel tower.

The property fronting Cameron Road and bordered by Harington Street, Durham Street and Hamilton Street sits directly opposite Tauranga Domain and currently sustains the Durham Motor Inn Tauranga, which has a management lease expiring in July this year.

Corporate Traveller's fresh new 'shake up'

Monday, 12 March 2018 21:30

The Corporate Traveller New Zealand team has revealed its new-look branding.

Corporate Traveller general manager New Zealand Kelly Thomas says the new look represents the growth in the brand since its launch in New Zealand nine years ago.

Seven Events turn 10

Monday, 12 March 2018 21:27

New Zealand event management company Seven Events celebrates 10 years in business this year and is launching a new brand and website.

Director Peter Allen says Seven Events will continue with its strong corporate focus, but is also delving further into the community event space and, together with like-minded industry experts, is exploring some exciting new events for local communities.

Waikato in training

Thursday, 08 March 2018 01:31

Tourism Marketing Solutions has completed two full days of training for approximately 40 operators from the Hamilton Waikato region.

The training is designed to upskill operators in a fun and interactive way.

SKYCITY celebrates summer

Thursday, 01 March 2018 04:33

Auckland’s business events industry turned out in force for SKYCITY’s annual summer celebration – this year held at the Volvo Ocean Race Village (where the Kitchen c/o SKYCITY is official caterer) in Auckland.

Northland enjoying growth

Monday, 26 February 2018 22:55

Northland continues to record annual guest night growth well ahead of the national average growth rate of 2.5, with guest nights growing by 5.2% overall in the December month.

The domestic market returned to strong growth while international nights were flat. Domestic nights grew 7.6% in December while international nights grew slightly by 0.4%.

Makeover for Aotea Centre

Monday, 26 February 2018 20:38

The Aotea Centre will undergo a redevelopment starting with a distinctive new exterior, which is currently underway, followed by a comprehensive internal refurbishment that will begin in October.

Both internal and external refurbishments are due for completion in March 2019.

AKL: Open for business

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 01:46

Major events such as the America’s Cup in 2021 will propel Auckland into the global spotlight, according to Steve Armitage, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development general manager, speaking at Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo.

‘While 2021 is an incredible opportunity to propel our city into the world stage, we aren’t strangers to hosting these kinds of major events. The Rugby World Cup 2011 is an example of how a single event can be a catalyst for

Christchurch City updates

Monday, 19 February 2018 19:42

Restoration work on Christchurch Town Hall is continuing at pace, according to new information from Christchurch Convention Bureau.

Seating is going back into the auditorium and structural repairs to the fly tower are complete.

Chch to host new conference

Monday, 19 February 2018 04:02

Christchurch has won the bid to host the International Wetlands Conference, expected to attract 1000 delegates from around the world when it comes to the city in 2020.

Local ecologist and wetland expert, Dr Philippe Gerbeaux from the Department of Conservation’s Freshwater team was one of driving forces behind bringing the event to Christchurch, after being asked by the co-chairs of the Intecol Wetlands Working Group whether New

Christchurch scores tech event

Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:03

Christchurch will play host to the 2019 conference, set to bring up to 800 delegates from around Australasia and the world to the city.

The 2019 event will be the 20th anniversary of the conference and will run from 21-25 January 2019 at the University of Canterbury.

Hilton Lake Taupo’s new C&E venue

Thursday, 08 February 2018 02:55

Hilton Lake Taupo has completed its significant redevelopment project of the hotel’s conference and event facilities.

The all-new venue within the hotel’s iconic heritage wing has brought together the Victorian design of the original building, built in 1889, with state-of-the-art technology and contemporary furnishings.

New property for QT

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 22:53

Queenstown is getting ready for its latest hotel, with the Wyndham Garden set to open 1 May 2018.

The 75-room hotel, which comprises a mixture of hotel, studio and one-bedroom apartment and will feature onsite F&B and conference facilities.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018 21:25

New Zealand will have ‘prime position’ at this year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meeting Expo (AIME), according to Conventions & Incentives Australia manager Sharon Auld.

CINZ and Tourism New Zealand are teaming up on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand with 11 partners from key regions and venues. They are joined by the country’s national carrier Air New Zealand.

‘Together we are making the most of this prime spot to create a real sense of our place and our people. It will be an engaging slice of Aotearoa New Zealand in Melbourne,’ says Auld.

Palmy arena's expansion

Monday, 18 December 2017 21:54

Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North will undergo a major expansion and redesign after Palmerston North City Council signed off on a $25 million development for the city’s main sports and events centre.

Key features of the development include a new stand encompassing concourse seating and function space along the southern embankment, a new speedway facility, and a revamped, park-like entrance.

This will be designed to open onto a new ‘Boulevard’, another council-planned development aimed to improve the link for pedestrians between the arena with the CBD.

AKL conventions new partnership

Monday, 11 December 2017 21:32

Auckland Conventions Venues & Events now has a partnership with premium caterers The Kitchen c/o SKYCITY and Urban Gourmet.

Auckland Conventions general sales manager, Marija Gecan, says the new catering partners have been chosen for their exceptional cuisine and extensive experience.

‘Staging more than 700 events a year, we are focused on offering more choice and innovation. Our priority is to provide clients with the best experience and highest-quality service possible across our diverse portfolio of iconic Auckland venues.’

H3 Operations Manager wins

Monday, 27 November 2017 21:16

H3 operations manager Claire Toko has taken out a top award at the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) Awards in Wellington.

Toko was named the ‘Simpson Grierson Operations Manager of the Year’, with the judges commending her for the significant contribution she has made to H3 and her role as a leader and ‘go-to’ person in the business.

Having worked at H3 in several roles over the past 12 years, Claire has drawn on her broad range of experience to identify and lead a number of initiatives in areas including health and safety, staff induction, contract management and development projects.

TMS Workshop takes AKL

Monday, 20 November 2017 22:37

Tourism Marketing Solutions held one of its last TMS.Workshops for the year at the SKYCITY  Convention Centre Boardroom in Auckland last week.

With a focus on the C&I market, the workshop was facilitated by Tania Adolphe and Sarah Hillman, both of which have worked in the tourism industry for a number of years and see the workshops as giving back to the industry.

NZICC opts for Ungerboeck

Monday, 13 November 2017 20:59

New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) is teaming up with Ungerboeck Software as its event management solution.

Callum Mallett, general Manager of operations at NZICC, says the team properly evaluated three solutions in its search for a venue management solution.

‘Two of the booking and CRM systems answered many of the questions we had, but only Ungerboeck covered the remit of almost everything on our wish list, and had the real pedigree in the international convention market,’ he says.

NZ Aquaculture conference

Monday, 06 November 2017 20:34

The New Zealand Aquaculture Conference will be held in Marlborough in September 2018.

A celebration of the world’s finest farmed seafood grown in Marlborough and around New Zealand, the Aquaculture Conference bid was led by Business Events Marlborough, working with local venues, accommodation providers and transport operators.

The region will see around 400 delegates visiting from across New Zealand and around the world and is set to bring an estimated $344,400 into the local economy.

Training opps in QT, AKL

Monday, 30 October 2017 21:11

Queenstown-based meeting and conference operators have a training opportunity through TMS on 9 November.

The course will upskill and educate participants over four to five hours on the principals of the conference and incentives sales process.

Upwards for Christchurch

Monday, 16 October 2017 22:46

Hotel occupancy in Christchurch is up almost five percent on the same time last year, according to the latest Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) statistics. Other industry reporting also highlights this trend with stronger year-on-year demand for CBD hotels in the 4.5 to five-star market.

Queenstown’s new kid on block

Monday, 09 October 2017 20:46

QT Hotels & Resorts has unveiled the artist impressions of its new property, QT Queenstown.

The hotel follows the design-DNA of QT’s predecessor properties, with its identity inspired by the surrounding environment along with a touch of signature QT quirk.

Hairy win for Auckland

Monday, 02 October 2017 22:02

Auckland has won the bid to host the World Beard and Moustache Championships in 2021, which will see facial hair aficionados from around the globe descend on the city.

The championships is a biennial competition in which some of the most outrageous and highly styled facial hair on the planet is on display.

The Fellowship of the Beard NZ president, and regular competitor, Ygnacio Cervio worked with Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Tourism New Zealand to secure the event for Auckland.

New business expo set for Tauranga

Monday, 25 September 2017 21:56

A new business expo is set for a 2018 debut in Tauranga.

The inaugural Bay of Plenty/Waikato Business Expo will offer a prime opportunity for businesses across the country to maximise exposure to the central region of Tauranga, Hamilton and Rotorua and reap new opportunities, say organisers, Jigsaw Solutions Group.

Standing out at Convene South

Monday, 18 September 2017 21:56

Theme Productions took out the stand of the year title at Convene South in Christchurch last week, with Millennium Hotels and Resorts taking out the runner up slot.

Business events booming

Monday, 11 September 2017 21:56


The economic value of the events won by Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), in conjunction with ACB members and industry partners, is valued at $46 million in the year ending July 2017, according to new figures released by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) today.

ACB, a division within ATEED’s destination business unit, has won 58 business events through its activity over the last financial year.

This has resulted in the region hosting more than 28,000 international and domestic delegates between June 2016 and July 2017, who stayed a total of 124,365 visitor nights.

Rotorua wins volcanology bid

Monday, 04 September 2017 21:47

Rotorua has secured the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) Conference for 2021. The four-day conference will take place at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Childhood conference to Welly

Monday, 21 August 2017 22:24

Wellington has landed the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association’s 21st annual conference, expected to bring in 500 scholars from around Asia Pacific in July 2020.

Conservation popular at Otehei Bay

Thursday, 17 August 2017 02:34

Delegates to Explore’s Otehei Bay venue in the Bay of Islands are increasingly interested in conservation activities. Dinna Sansalvador, business development manager at Explore Group, says that while there has been heightened demand from groups for Otehei Bay, she is seeing more and more interest in activities that involve the environment, such as tree planting, weed busting and wildlife restoration projects. 

Changes afoot in Queenstown

Monday, 07 August 2017 23:27


Queenstown’s Regional Tourism Organisation, Destination Queenstown (DQ), has announced a new structure in a move to account for current and future demands and opportunities.

Finalised this week, a revised structure establishes a second director role to sit alongside current marketing and communications director, Sarah O’Donnell. O’Donnell’s team is unchanged and has responsibility for DQ’s consumer marketing, communications, media, PR, social media and campaign partnership activity.

Conference at the Tannery

Monday, 07 August 2017 22:51

Book a conference for August or September and receive a complimentary catering upgrade worth $10.00 per person to the Daily Delegate Package at the Tannery. Book an afternoon or evening function in winter and have the option to incorporate a Cassels & Sons beer tasting for the special price of $10pp or Happy Hour at the end of the event (25% off).

NZEA Awards Dinner: Tickets on sale

Monday, 07 August 2017 22:29

Tickets for the New Zealand Event Awards are on sale now, with tickets expected to be in hot demand following last year’s sell out. Plus early birds will be in to win, if attendees register and pay for their awards tickets before Friday 1 September, they will go in a draw courtesy of SKYCITY to win a night’s luxury accommodation package for two adults at SKYCITY Grand Hotel to the value of $459.

CINZ unveils annual conference and famil details

Monday, 07 August 2017 22:19

Registrations are open for the Conventions & Incentives New Zealand 41st Annual Conference and AGM, which will be held on 24-26 October in Dunedin at the Town Hall.

Two pre-famils are on offer for PCOs, who may wish to educate themselves further about what’s on offer in Waitaki and Southland. The famils are fully hosted and have been provided by the Oamaru Convention Bureau, Tourism Waitaki and Venture Southland.Some half day Dunedin famil options will be open to all delegates on Tuesday 24 October.

Several member hotels have offered special rates for members for conference accommodation, and Air New Zealand have offered a special discount code for conference airfares.

Click here to review the upcoming programme and click here to register now.

Behind the veil of commercial culture

Thursday, 03 August 2017 04:02

Culture holds a pretty powerful promise in New Zealand, and it’s no different in Rotorua, which prides itself as being the heartland of Maori culture. Craig Murray, business events manager at Destination Rotorua, says the Manaakitanga is the city’s catch cry. ‘Manaakitanga places a responsibility on us as your hosts to give you the best of ourselves, our time and our history,’ he says. Murray says intertwining culture into business events, conferences and incentive travel is something the business events team prides itself on doing. A high performing team of four, the business events team focuses on bringing conferences that fit with Rotorua’s image, such as geothermal, forestry and forestry-based science, and especially indigenous culture.

Taupō now part of government analysis

Monday, 31 July 2017 04:28

Taupō has been included in Project Palace, a government initiative designed to attract foreign investment into New Zealand’s hotel sector.

Taupō joins the other capacity-constrained centres of Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown in the project.

Damian Coutts, general manager of Destination Great Lake Taupō, says the inclusion of Taupō in the study reinforces recent data that shows unprecedented growth in the hotel sector for the district.

Coutts says it would be greatly beneficial to the district if the market analysis resulted in new large-scale accommodation and activity investment for Taupō. He says Great Lake Taupō had worked together with Enterprise Great Lake Taupo to have the district included in the project and were very pleased with the result.

‘The prospect of significant new investments in our district will ensure future visitor growth is not constrained by capacity issues in terms of large-scale group and conference facilities,’ he says.

Christchurch making its mark

Monday, 31 July 2017 04:15

More than $40 billion is being ploughed into Christchurch, transforming New Zealand’s oldest city into its newestSpeaking at Get Global in Sydney, ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau bid manager Claire Hector-Taylor says this compact, attractive city is an ideal meeting destination.

‘Christchurch is a future-focused city boasting major infrastructure developments, including a new convention centre due to be completed in late 2019. We are the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island with a top international airport just 15 minutes from the city.’

Air NZ takes off for Tokyo

Monday, 24 July 2017 03:02

Air New Zealand has officially launched its service to Haneda Tokyo, in response to increased demand for travel between the two countries.

The new service will depart Auckland on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from July – May, offering customers a second point of entry to the Japanese capital alongside the airline’s daily flights to Narita Tokyo Airport.

Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace says demand for travel between the two countries continues to soar and the new Auckland-Haneda direct route will boost annual capacity to Japan by 15%.

Key Conference Win for Marlborough

Monday, 17 July 2017 23:37

Business Events Marlborough has won the bid for the Apiculture New Zealand Conference and Trade Exhibition in July 2018. The Conference is for noncommercial and commercial beekeepers, packers, exporters, and the wider Apiculture supplier network and will attract an estimated 600+ delegates from across New Zealand to the region.

NZICC - foundations laid

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 22:34

Open for business in 2019, the New Zealand International Convention Centre is starting to take shape.

More than 2300 ton of steel has been erected so far, out of approximately 8000 ton in total,  and 2/3rd of the exhibition floor steel is in place.

Eventbrite says ‘Kia Ora’ with NZ office

Monday, 10 July 2017 04:08

Eventbrite has officially launched into New Zealand, following significant organic growth in the local market. The move is part of the company’s APAC expansion efforts.

The technology has powered more than 70,000 events in New Zealand since inception and is establishing a presence in Auckland to build upon the momentum it has experienced with local event creators.

Local operations will be led by New Zealand native, Brad McIntyre, serving as marketing manager, Eventbrite Australia & New Zealand, and reporting into Phil Silverstone, general manager, Australia and New Zealand. McIntyre will be looking to hire local New Zealand talent to grow the team in the year ahead.

According to Silverstone, the live experience market and event scene is booming in New Zealand.  Recent research shows that New Zealanders attend the most events in the western world, with more than nine out of 10 (93%) Kiwis having attended an event in the past 12 months, more than the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.

‘We’re incredibly excited to be launching into our second APAC market. The New Zealand office deepens our regional expansion and continues our mission of bringing people together through the power of live experiences,’ says Silverstone.

‘New Zealand may have a small population, but Kiwis have a huge appetite for live experiences, making it the perfect market for Eventbrite.’

Admirals goes on sale

Monday, 03 July 2017 03:57

Admirals Motor Lodge on the main route between Blenheim and Christchurch has been placed on the market for sale.

Located at 161 Middle Renwick Road in the Blenheim suburb of Springlands, the motel is a leased 20-unit accommodation provider sitting on 3,650 square metres of land close to Blenheim Airport and on the main route out of the city.

The motel is configured into a single three-bedroom unit, five two-bedroom units, three single-bedroom units, and 11 studio units – all fitted out with kitchenette amenities. Recreational facilities at the Middle Renwick Rd site include a swimming pool and spa.

In addition to the commercial accommodation, the venue has a three-bedroom owner/manager’s residence.

NZ Hotel Industry Awards - Finalists announced

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 03:06

There are 33 finalists in this year’s New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, with five regions taking centre stage - Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Indigenous event heads to Waikato

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:32

Waikato will welcome around 800 international indigenous studies experts in June 2019. The event will put the region on the world stage as a cultural hub and is expected to deliver more than $1.7 million to the economy.

Tourism New Zealand worked with the University of Waikato and Hamilton and Waikato Tourism to secure the annual Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference.

‘Waikato’s strong cultural links, activities and the University’s indigenous studies expertise was a winning combo and convinced the event organisers to bring the conference to New Zealand for the first time,’ says Lisa Gardiner business events and premium manager, Tourism New Zealand.

New owners for Continental

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 01:59

South Island event catering and venue management company Continental is to have a change of ownership after 52 years in the industry.

Current managing director Greg Ward retains his 50% share of the Rangiora-based company, however, his parents Joan and David Ward have sold their share of the business to Continental’s operations manager David Cartwright.

Greg Ward says the only change for staff, customers and suppliers will be a different legal name for the business - DF & JA Ward to Continental Catering Group Ltd – but trading will continue under the name Continental.

Pre-MEETINGS famil a hit for Wanaka

Monday, 12 June 2017 08:42

Lake Wanaka Tourism held a pre-MEETINGS famil in Wanaka at the beginning of this month, hosting international buyers from a range of markets including North America, SE Asia and India.

The famil, which was hosted in conjunction with Tourism New Zealand, saw buyers experience a range of Wanaka activities including skydiving and high country 4WD, and concluded with a gala dinner at The Rippon Hall. The buyers stayed at Edgewater.

James Helmore, general manager of Lake Wanaka Tourism, says promoting Wanaka as a destination for incentives and conferences is one of the organisation’s key strategies.

‘Typically conference delegates will stay longer than other visitors to the region and C&I events are usually held outside of peak seasons,’ he says.

Helmore says Wanaka being selected by Tourism New Zealand as a MEETINGS famil destination was recognition of the region’s portfolio of products, services and venues for the MICE market.

Check out some photos of the group at Skydive Wanaka in our gallery.