New Zealand’s key players speak at Meetings 2019

The final day of Conventions and Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) Meetings 2019, once again put New Zealand on display for event organisers. The day began in the briefing room, with presentations from the key players in New Zealand’s business event industry.

Sue Sullivan

Sue Sullivan, Chief Executive of CINZ was the first to take to the stage. As head of CINZ, Sue is the face of the business event industry in New Zealand, and takes pride in the continual growth of the sector.

“We continue to be an industry that is alive and well. Our story is around meetings as economic engines. We are a sector that is a powerhouse of the economy,” Sue said. 

CINZ, and the New Zealand meetings industry is looking towards developing in a number of key areas, including data and sustainability.

There is an S that’s missing from the Health, Safety & Security (HSS) acronym according to Sue, “It’s sustainability. We need to show that we are taking sustainability seriously.”

Rene De Monchy

Rene De Monchy, Commercial Director at Tourism New Zealand was next to present. Tourism New Zealand is responsible for marketing the nation as a destination for both leisure travel and business events. His core mission is to ensure that the rising tide of business events and tourism raises all Kiwi’s boats.

“Tourism is the beating heart of New Zealand. It is the number one export earner in New Zealand, but only 12 percent of Kiwi’s know that. So we have a responsibility to do a better job of telling people the enormous contribution that tourism makes,” Rene said. 

“Tourism is helping build schools and hospitals across the country, and it’s bringing global experts to New Zealand, especially through business events.”

“Our task and our core mission at Tourism New Zealand is all about how do we enrich New Zealand. How do we make sure the sector gives back more than it takes out?”

“We’ve got to ensure that when people visit, it makes our home a better place.”

Blair Cotton

Blair Cotton is Senior Manager of Distribution at Air New Zealand, and like leaders from CINZ and Tourism New Zealand, he has a positive outlook on the business events sector in the country, and thinks the country’s flag-carrying airline has a big role to play.

“Part of our mission at Air New Zealand is to supercharge New Zealand’s success,” Blair said.

“We understand that if New Zealand does well as a country — socially, environmentally and economically — the flow-on effect for Air New Zealand will be significant.”

“The business events sector of the tourism industry has a big role to play in spreading the economic value beyond the gateway cities, and into regional New Zealand.”

Blair also announced that they will continue to focus on developing their cross-Tasman services, with new return flights to Brisbane from Christchurch and Wellington.

Steve Armitage

Steve Armitage, General Manager Destination at Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), is leading the destination strategy for Auckland, AKL 2025, and wishes to push Auckland (and New Zealand) to the forefront of the business events industry.

“While we’ve laid some good foundations, and we continue to build on the aspirations that we have for Auckland, we need to continue to balance destination marketing with the role we have to play in destination management,” Steve said.

Steve thinks there is more room for growth, and pushing Auckland forward requires a focus on data, sustainability and talented people.

Walking the show floor


As the briefing wrapped up, Executive PA Media walked the show floor speaking to a number of local, regional and national event suppliers — each with their own, uniquely New Zealand offerings.

Heritage, New Zealand

Garrick Loft, General Manager Sales and Marketing at Heritage & CityLife Hotels presented their latest property, the Dunedin Leisure Lodge.

“The reason we bought Dunedin on board is because of the heritage of the building. It’s a 40 year old hotel, but it’s built on the site of a 130 year old brewery. It’s the original brewery first built in Dunedin, and it still has some of the spaces from the original building. The Oast House, where they heated the wheat and got everything ready for brewing is still standing, and is now a function room. It’s a really amazing space.”

Lower Hutt Events Centre, Wellington

Udai Sarin, CEO of Sarin Investments, which manages the Lower Hutt Events Centre in Wellington put the recently-built dedicated events space on display. Vikas Yadav and Shelley Bascand from the Lower Hutt Event’s Centre were manning the stand, and helped present the space.

“We’ve got a wonderful centre in terms of facility, we’ve got great staff. We’ve not taken any shortcuts in year one, our primary focus in the first couple of years is sustainability, and giving the Hutt city a good reputation,” Sarin said.

Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Wellington

Tom Kirkland, Business Development Specialist at National Library of New Zealand presented the Tiakiwai Conference Centre situated in the heart of the National Library.

“One of the things that makes us really different from the other venues in Wellington is, aside from being set in the National Library, aside from us being able to connect our guests with history, aside from giving them one of a kind unique experiences, we also offer everything that you need to bring your event to life, in-house.”

Nomad Safaris, Queenstown

David Hayward-Ferguson from Nomad Safaris announced a new fleet of electric 4×4 vehicles to find a green alternative to their original gas-guzzling traditional off-roaders.

“We’re conscious of the environmental impact that we have with our big diesel vehicles. We’re always trying to look for ways we can mitigate that impact,” David said.

“We’ve been following the development of electric vehicles, and with the Tesla Model X there might be a vehicle capable of going where we go, into the backcountry. We bought two vehicles to see if they were capable.”

“We’ve had the vehicles for six months now, they are truly wonderful and they have outperformed our expectations. They are capable off road, have less moving parts, more glass for better viewing, and are better for the environment.”

Closing Gala Celebration

CINZ Meetings 2019 came to a close at Skycity Auckland Convention Centre, with a Latin themed gala celebration with lavish decorations, cocktails, dancers and live music. The night was the perfect way to let the exhibitors, delegates and organisers mingle and relax after a long week of hard work, and celebrate another successful Meetings.

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