November 17, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

New Zealand’s major business events association, Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), has appointed the former general manager of destination at Auckland Unlimited, Steve Armitage, as the new chair of its board.

Armitage will take over from current chair Tony Gardner, who has been in the role for the past six years, after the association’s AGM next week.

“The industry will be forever appreciative of Tony’s guidance and support,” said BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins.

“Tony has been instrumental in building an active and engaged Board and I know I speak on behalf of them and the BEIA team when I say how grateful we are for the work he has done.

“We are delighted to welcome Steve Armitage to this role and I have no doubt that he will add his own quality to the position. A seasoned and well-respected leader with extensive experience working across all levels of the political landscape, Steve’s experience in public affairs, diplomacy, and the corporate sector supports BEIA’s own intentions for the future.

“Like Tony, Steve understands the nuances of the sector very well and the need to be future-focused.”

Armitage said he was excited for his new position.

“I am firmly of the view that business events should be at the forefront of New Zealand’s economic re-opening to the world given the clear value they bring socially and economically.

“I want to acknowledge Tony and the Board for the excellent platform that they have established. The BEIA team have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic representing the sector with mana and clear purpose, and I cannot wait to build on the momentum they have generated,” he said.