Eventscorp Group Formed to Attract Major Events to New Zealand

  • Murray McCully

A new government initiative will see New Zealand hosting more big-ticket events such as the 2003 Rugby World Cup

Minister of Tourism and Sport, Fitness and Leisure, Murray McCully, today announced at the New Zealand Event Management and Event Marketing Conference the formation of a new group called the Eventscorp charged with ensuring New Zealand attracts top sporting and cultural events .

The group has been established as a result of a partnership between the Hillary Commission and the New Zealand Tourism Board, designed to boost tourism visitor numbers and enhance sport development

" This is unashamedly based on the highly successful Eventscorp models in Australia and particularly the Victoria Model which Premier Geoff Kennett has used to attract a large number of high profile international events," Mr McCully said.

"Up until now New Zealand has hosted big-ticket items such as international sporting events thanks to the initiative and ability of sporting bodies' top sports people to win such events. We now have a top-level organisation in place to be pro-active in identifying and encouraging sports and other national organisations to bid for the larger international events," he said.

The group would look at the opportunities to bring major events to New Zealand and provide advice and support to joint venture groups of local authorities, sports bodies and entrepreneurs to prepare successful bids.

"It will also advise Government where central funding is sought for events. It will look at each potential event in terms of the economic benefit to the country and the opportunity to our local sport and tourism sectors," he said.

Mr McCully said event tourism was a growing international business that New Zealand has yet to take advantage of.

"Its well established internationally that visitors who attend a major event or conference are very high value tourists who spend more than three times the average daily visitor spend. We simply haven't taken advantage of this area of opportunity enough" he said.

Mr McCully said the group's members were "highly experienced, tough-minded and successful". The seven person group will be chaired by Air NZ and Brierley Investments Limited chairman Mr Bob Matthew, and will also include: Dunedin businessman Eion Edgar; All Black coach and former Fletcher Challenge senior manager John Hart; Former Apple and Pear Board Chief Executive Joe Pope; New Zealand Tourism Board Chairman Bryan Mogridge; and Hillary Commission Chief Executive Peter Dale.

Mr McCully said the group's brief was to:

Work with national sports bodies and other agencies to bid for and secure significant events which will benefit New Zealand in terms of tourism and sport development.
Work with other sectors as funds permit to bid for and secure non-sports events for New Zealand.
"The group won't be an event organiser, but it will have an important role to play in helping New Zealand bidders win the right to stage major events here. It will have some seed money to invest in supporting bids, but major contributions will be referred to Government," Mr McCully said.

Mr McCully said that the group was already looking at issues related to New Zealand hosting the 2003 Rugby World Cup and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

"Obviously the 2006 Commonwealth Games bid envisages a significant level of government support. I will be waiting for the Eventscorp Board's recommendations before discussing the organisers requests with the government," he said.