Barnes starts her new role on 2 November. She brings with her a wealth of experience which began 20 years ago in the Australian meetings and events industry on Hamilton Island. More recently she has held event management and sales roles with brands including Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Shoal Bay Resort & Spa and Banyan Tree Resort & Spa, Phuket and has spent nearly eight years representing Millennium Hotels & Resorts and SkyCity Auckland Convention Centre in the Australian business events market.
Barnes is excited by what Wellington already has to offer the Australian market, and what is being developed in New Zealand’s capital city.
“Wellington has a compact city centre packed with great venues, impressive hotels, and a huge range of fantastic cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s coffee and craft beer cultures are second to none and is already an ideal location for business events with a range of venue options available. It will be even more appealing once the $179 million, 18,000 sqm Tākina conference and exhibition centre opens in 2023.”
General manager of WellingtonNZ, David Perks says the opening of Tākina will significantly boost Wellington’s business venues options. “Businesses generally plan conferences years ahead which is why it’s so important to have someone of Tania’s calibre on the ground in Sydney, to focus on the Australian market, well ahead of Tākina’s opening.
“Tākina will offer a state of the art conference facility for up to 1400 delegates who will get a unique taste of Māori culture in the Wellington-themed venue located smack-bang in the heart of the city. We believe it will appeal to Australian businesses looking for an extra-special conference experience. Australia is an important market for us and we considered it valuable to have a physical presence in the market to help boost the number of events we secure.” He says.