August 12, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

New Zealand’s largest city will host the Massage & Myotherapy Australia 2023 National Conference, as the event ventures out of Australia for the first time.

Up to 300 delegates are expected to attend the event, including members of Massage New Zealand, which will forego its own separate conference next year and instead combine its gathering with the Australian event.

“We wanted to do something with a bit of a bang for our 20th year and New Zealand is it,” said Massage & Myotherapy Australia CEO Ann Davey.

“The world got a lot bigger during COVID-19 because you couldn’t go anywhere; but it also got smaller, and we reached out to colleagues around the world. The massage industry was hit pretty hard. We already had a relationship with Massage New Zealand and that just got stronger.

“We are working with Massage New Zealand to enable us to bring the best experience not only for our members that may travel but also to Massage New Zealand members in terms of learning and collaboration.

“The announcement was made at this year’s national conference, and the reaction from the delegates was huge.”

The event is expected to generate NZ$320,000 for Auckland’s economy and the Australian association is hoping to formalise a partnership with its New Zealand counterpart as a result of the collaboration.

The event will also be a significant occasion for Massage New Zealand which hasn’t held a national meeting since 2019 due to the pandemic.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with Massage & Myotherapy Australia offering massage therapists from both countries a spectacular conference experience,” said co-chairs of Massage New Zealand, Florence Samuels and Bernie Withington.

“Our massage therapists will welcome this event as we have not had a conference in New Zealand since 2019.”

The event is being supported by Auckland Convention Bureau and Tourism New Zealand’s business events division.

The Australian association is also hoping that delegates travelling to the event from across the Tasman will spend longer in New Zealand as a result of the event.

“We don’t want them to fly in and fly out. It’s a terrific opportunity for our therapists to fit in a holiday, and an incentive to attend. We want them to get something out of it other than learning,” said Davey.