February 1, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier

New Zealand has a new tourism minister in Peeni Henare after a ministerial reshuffle by New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins.

Henare, pictured below with former PM Jacinda Ardern, replaces Stuart Nash, who has retained other ministerial positions. Before heading up the tourism portfolio, Henare was an associate minister for tourism.

Lisa Hopkins, head of industry association Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), says the new minister has a solid understanding of business events.

“Minister Henare’s appointment as tourism minister is positive for the industry, given he has been Associate Minister for Tourism for many years, first with Kelvin Davis and secondly with Stuart Nash,” said Hopkins.

“He was also the first minister I met when I took on this role and found him extremely engaged and interested in the sector. He was a speaker at a CINZ conference (before we became BEIA), and I recall in our one-on-one interaction, he had a strong understanding of our sector.

“At the conference, he touched on key themes such as sustainability and innovation, underpinned by manaakitanga, and I look forward to discussing these topics with him and how we have developed.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hon Peeni Henare MP (@peenihenare)

Hopkins said the association hoped to host Henare at its flagship trade show MEETINGS in June, when it is held in the nation’s capital for the first time.

 “Of course, MEETINGS will be held close to Parliament this year, at Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre, and we look forward to inviting Minister Henare to join the industry and our guests at this key event.”

And she expressed gratitude to Nash for his support of business events during his tenure as tourism minister.

“Over the past few years, we have spent time working with Minister Nash, who became a strong advocate for the sector, while Minister Henare focused on the COVID health response for Māori specifically and defence.

“BEIA would like to thank Minister Nash for his support and we look forward to receiving input from Minister Henare on our strategy and intentions for the future,” said Hopkins.