The first bookings have been secured at the New Zealand International Convention Centre, with Auckland winning the bids to host two large-scale international medical conferences in 2020.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) will hold back-to-back conferences at the NZICC spanning five days.

The 35th APAO Congress will be the biggest medical meeting to ever be held in New Zealand, with an estimated 4,000 medical professionals and researchers from around the world coming to Auckland to discuss the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye.

This will be followed by the IAPB 11th General Assembly, where 2,000 eye care providers, International Non-Governmental Organisations, UN bodies and others involved in the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment will meet in Auckland to share information and exchange ideas.

The events will deliver significant economic benefit to the country including an estimated 15,000 room nights and some $11 million in economic benefit to the city.

Auckland Convention Bureau – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with RANZCO, APAO and IAPB, along with NZICC and Tourism New Zealand, to win the conferences.
Brett O’Riley, Chief Executive of ATEED says securing international conferences of this scale and prestige demonstrates that Auckland is a world-class business events destination.

“The development of NZICC has meant Auckland is now able to compete internationally for these larger scale conference and association meetings,” he says.

“The benefits of hosting conferences of this calibre are far-reaching. Beyond the obvious economic value, they bring people together to exchange ideas, build new relationships, and over the longer term can attract investment and talent flows.”
Callum Mallett, General Manager NZICC Operations, says the news is fantastic for Auckland and New Zealand.

“We’re delighted that our new convention centre has attracted two major international meetings of this calibre. The NZICC will be a world-class facility and a beautiful venue in which to meet and network in the heart of downtown Auckland,” he says.

RANZCO Chief Executive Dr David Andrews says this was the first time the organisations have been able to come together to bid for these events to be held in New Zealand.

“We are looking forward to coming together in one venue to collaborate and to discuss research, cutting-edge technology, and some of the latest in clinical and scientific ideas.  And of course, explore some of Auckland while we’re here,” he says.

“The Asia-Pacific region alone has more than 180 million people who are visually impaired. Ophthalmologists have an important role to play in the fight against preventable blindness.”

Lisa Gardiner, Manager Business Events and Premium, Tourism New Zealand says this win is a great example of the business events sector working collaboratively to secure another international conference for New Zealand.

“International business events contribute millions to the economy every year and allow New Zealand the opportunity to showcase the world class event offering we have,” she says. 

Key facts on NZICC

  • Sits on a 1.4 hectare CBD site, and will have 32,500sqm of floor space
  • Five times larger than the current largest convention facilities in New Zealand
  • Can host conferences and one off events of approximately 4,000 people
  • Will have New Zealand’s largest theatre, with seating for 2,850 people
  • 35 meeting spaces of various sizes
  • Open for business mid 2019

About ACB

  • Auckland Convention Bureau is part of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – Auckland’s economic growth agency, and an Auckland Council Controlled Organisation.
  • The Auckland Business Events Plan was launched in August 2014. The plan’s target is to grow the value of the sector from $236 million in 2013 to $430 million annually by 2023.
  • Tourism New Zealand manages the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) which provides support for anyone considering hosting an international conference in New Zealand
Anika Forsman
Acting Media Manager, ATEED
Contact Anika