Earthquakes the trump card in major international conference win

"Opportunity from disaster" is being realised in Christchurch, with the city chosen to host the 2016 International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Week.

At least 700 delegates from all over the world plus partners and exhibitors are expected in April and May 2016 for the session title "Opportunity from disaster - surveying the challenges", bringing an estimated economic benefit of nearly NZ$3 million to the region.

The New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and premium sponsor Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) bid for the hosting rights with the support of Tourism New Zealand and the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), the University of Otago's National School of Surveying and Conference Innovators.

Leader of the delegation and Deputy Head of the National School of Surveying at the University of Otago, Brian Coutts, says there was an incredibly strong desire to see the conference held in Christchurch.

"To win is fantastic and everyone is thrilled with the result. Christchurch city will provide such a dynamic environment for delegates to experience and learn in, given the re-planning and re-building of the city post-earthquakes."

LINZ acting chief executive Sue Gordon says the conference will bring together surveying and mapping experts from around the world.

"As the premium sponsor, we're delighted the conference is coming to New Zealand. It will be a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and experiences in the areas of surveying, land registration, topography, valuation, hydrography, land management and geospatial information."

Tourism New Zealand's chief executive Kevin Bowler says this is the fourth international conference won since the organisation began administering the CAP fund in July 2011, on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.

"Tourism New Zealand is committed to increasing the economic contribution of international visitors by attracting more high value visitors.  International conference delegates are exactly that type of target visitor - on average they spend up to three-times more than the usual international visitor. They bring partners and families, and have the potential to become return visitors.

While Christchurch's planned new convention centre is the proposed venue, two other options were also presented to demonstrate New Zealand's commitment to the event and Christchurch's capability to act as host.

About CAP

Tourism New Zealand manage and administer the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.
The Conference Assistance Programme provides support for anyone considering hosting an International Conference in New Zealand. CAP can be used to help to determine if you should Bid to host your international conference; provide experienced professional advice; fund the initial financial feasibility study and provide strategic advice on international bidding
For more information on the CAP and Tourism New Zealand's involvement in business events visit the Business Events section on the Tourism New Zealand website

About FIG
The International Federation of Surveyors is an international, non-government organisation whose purpose is to support international collaboration for the progress of surveying in all fields and applications. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards.

For more information

Brian J Coutts, Deputy Head (Undergraduate), School of Surveying, University of Otago | +643 479 7609; 0275 448 669

Scott Dennison, Senior Communications Advisor, LINZ | +644 496 5402

Deborah Gray, Communications Manager, Tourism New Zealand | +64 21 410 626