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Wellington attracts international early childhood conference

Wellington will welcome 500 scholars from around the Asia Pacific region in July 2020.

New Zealand won the rights to host the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association’s (PECERA) 21st annual conference. The conference will be held at Victoria University of Wellington, home of the Institute for Early Childhood Studies, the leading research group for early childhood scholars in New Zealand.

The event is being bought to the capital after a bid by Victoria University, Tourism New Zealand and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) was successful.

Dr Sue Cherrington, Associate Dean (Academic), Associate Professor Jenny Ritchie, and Dr Mere Skerrett from Victoria University’s School of Education won the conference for Wellington at the association’s most recent conference in the Philippines.

“This conference will help us strengthen our research links with Asia-Pacific rim countries such as China, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. Our research often relates to Europe, and occasionally the United States, so hosting this conference presents an opportunity to develop new and exciting research collaborations,” says Dr Cherrington.

“The current membership of the Association is predominantly Asian countries on the Pacific rim. Whereas our Institute has a much stronger connection to the Pacific, so as hosts it’s an opportunity for us to put forward our innovations and demonstrate our Pacific-based research.

“It’s also a chance to demonstrate our strength and take some leadership in this area.”

Tourism New Zealand's International Business Events and Premium Manager Lisa Gardiner says “International conferences such as this support Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to grow the value of visitors to New Zealand.”

“Business events and conferences have the potential to attract visitors in the off-peak season and bring significant economic benefit to the country.”

WREDA’s Business Events and Partnerships Manager Jessica Beyeler says, “The securing of this conference has been 2.5 years in the making and is another fantastic result to have come out of the targeted research we’ve been doing with Business Events Wellington, Tourism New Zealand, Te Papa and Venues Wellington.

“Working with global experts like Dr Cherrington who are prepared to champion and put Wellington forward as a great destination to hold their international conference has benefits not only to the faculty and University, but also to the Wellington economy.

“We are looking forward to welcoming these delegates to the capital in 2020.”

The theme of the conference will be Visionary navigators: Advocating for children, families and early childhood education.

In the year ending June 2017 Tourism New Zealand secured 33 international conferences for New Zealand. This will see an estimated $44.1 million injected into the New Zealand economy.

For more details about Business Events in New Zealand and the Conference Assistance Programme visit www.businessevents.newzealand.com.