August 11, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: New Zealand’s capital city Wellington | Credit: Johnny Hendrikus

New Zealand’s capital city has launched the Wellington Advocate Network, which formalises recognition of the academics and association representatives who advance Wellington’s intellectual and business events reputation globally.

The first members of the network include academics from the arts, music, engineering, computer science and health sectors and representatives from the National Council for Women and Volunteering New Zealand.

“Business Events Wellington has strong, long-standing relationships with numerous key stakeholders that have hosted or supported international conferences in the city in the past or have confirmed conferences for Wellington in the future,” said Business Events Wellington manager Irette Ferreira.

“Their knowledge, work and connections in their respective fields play a crucial role in securing these international events and creating new opportunities to represent Wellington globally.

“By formalising our relationship, we aim to recognise the positive benefits they bring to Wellington’s economy and society through their conferences and to increase the impact of those events. We also encourage others to join them and bid for events that will strengthen Wellington.”

The initial advocate intake includes the president of the National Council of Women New Zealand, Suzanne Manning, who has two smaller meetings of the International Council of Women lined up for Wellington in 2023 and hopes to launch a successful bid to bring the International Congress of the International Council of Women to Wellington in the future.

“I’m looking forward to the connections that we should be able to make through the Wellington Advocate Network, which will be good for us through to the conference and beyond,” Manning said.

“Bringing the conference to Wellington will allow our members to connect with the work that our sisters are doing around the world, and particularly strengthen our connections with Pacific nations. It will provide opportunities for mutual support and exchange of ideas and solutions to common problems.”

With the city’s purpose-built convention centre, Tākina, set to open next June and New Zealand’s international border now fully reopen to visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19, no pre-departure testing or quarantine requirements in place, Wellington has seen a dramatic increase in the number of international bids to host events in Wellington.

“We’ve already got more than 80 conferences on the books at Tākina, and we’re proactively engaging our local network of experts and thought leaders to continue building that pipeline of international conferences for New Zealand’s capital city,” said Ferreira.