Auckland has won the bid to host the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) Asia Pacific Region Conference in 2020.

This is the fourth large-scale medical conference to be secured for Auckland in 2020, and to be held at the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).

An estimated 2,000 family doctors from throughout the Asia-Pacific region are expected to attend the event in mid-2020, staying the equivalent of 12,000 visitor nights, and contributing $4.1 million to the economy.

This follows on Auckland winning the hosting rights to the 35th APAO Congress, the largest medical meeting to ever be held in New Zealand, with an estimated 4,000 medical professionals from around the world, and the IAPB 11th General Assembly, where another 2,000 delegates are also coming in 2020. The Tripartite Colorectal Annual Meeting will also be held in February 2020, with 1,200 delegates.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – with support from Tourism New Zealand, worked with The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners to secure the conference in Auckland.

College President Dr Tim Malloy says the winning bid highlighted New Zealand’s multi-cultural GP workforce and the diverse population it cares for, emphasised the country’s agility introducing new technologies and new models of care, and its mix of urban and rural communities.

“We are delighted our bid was successful and are very excited to bring such a large delegation of family doctors to New Zealand,” he says. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the achievements of our primary care sector to our international peers. And it also provides a valuable opportunity for New Zealand GPs to connect with a group they wouldn’t typically have the opportunity to meet.”

Head of ACB, Anna Hayward, says it’s great to see Auckland securing another international conference.

“This is a fantastic result for Auckland, and New Zealand’s medical profession, and it further highlights how Auckland is now able to compete at this larger scale to attract events of this size as a result of the development of the NZICC,” she says.

“With a wealth of intellectual capital, world-class event facilities serviced by a professional industry, a reputation for superior hospitality, and strong air links with the rest of the world, Auckland is fast moving to the forefront of hosting international events.”

Lisa Gardiner, Manager Business Events and Premium at Tourism New Zealand says: “Conferences such as this one support Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to grow the value of international tourism to New Zealand. The knowledge these doctors will bring to the country has the potential to help grow New Zealand’s health science sector and create more jobs in this area.”

Callum Mallett, General Manager NZICC Operations, says: “It’s great to see the excitement that is building globally around New Zealand’s ability to host large conferences, and securing WONCA 2020 in the NZICC will give us the opportunity to showcase what great hosts New Zealanders are for these 2,000 delegates.”   

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Anika Forsman
Senior Communications Advisor
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