Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) welcomed news that prime minister John Key is to retain his tourism portfolio for a third consecutive term, with Hon. Paula Bennett as his new associate minister of tourism.

CINZ chief executive, Sue Sullivan, said this high-level government focus is exactly what the business tourism industry needs.

“There is still a lot of work to do as New Zealand gears up for a huge business events infrastructure boost.

“We applaud Mr Key for having the big picture in his sights and putting New Zealand on the international stage.

“With new convention centres in Auckland and Christchurch set for opening by 2018, and Wellington and Queenstown also on the cards we can confidently get out and sell our country to the world as a great place to meet, learn and do business.

“Mr Key gets our industry. He and his team understand business events and business tourism and the value of putting them at the top of the government’s growth agenda,” she said.