July 13, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

A trans-Tasman bidding collaboration has the world’s most significant conference on ageing coming to Australasia in 2029, with Queenstown in New Zealand set to host the pre-Congress Leadership Summit for 300 people.

The pre-event meeting is expected to inject NZ$1 million into Queenstown’s economy.

The congress itself, the 24th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatric (IAGG) World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, will be held in Sydney for an anticipated 4,500 delegates and is expected to have an economic impact of over AU$21 million.

The congress is held every four years and by 2029, it will have been over three decades since the event was held in the region.

“The conference win is a great example of the power of taking a trans-Tasman approach to bidding,” said general manager of New Zealand and business events for Tourism New Zealand, Bjoern Spreitzer.

“Hosting this event will help New Zealand stay at the forefront of strategies for improving the experience of ageing, leaving important legacies for New Zealand’s ageing population.”

Vice president of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and the bid leader for the pre-congress summit, Professor Debra Waters from the University of Otago flagged the strong cultural themes to be explored as part of the Queenstown event.

“The pre-congress leadership summit in Queenstown, in particular, will honour Indigenous leadership in ageing, highlighting the value of holistic, sustainable, and culturally relevant approaches used by First Nations and Indigenous peoples. We will welcome leaders, established and emerging, from across the globe, to join a conversation about ageing well.”

Queenstown’s bid was supported by Ngāi Tahu Tourism, one of New Zealand’s largest tourism operators which is both Indigenous and family owned.

Other support came from academics Katrina Pōtiki Bryant and Associate Professor Andy Towers from the University of Otago and Massey University respectively.