Welcoming and inclusive Wellington wins LGBTIQ world conference

Wellington will host the one of the world's most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,  Intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) conferences in 2018.

The event will bring around 600 delegates to the capital from around the world and is the first time in ILGA’s 40 year history that the bi-annual conference will be held in New Zealand.

Winning bid - New Zealand on the global stage

The conference win was the result of months of work by the Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ), Tīwhanawhana Trust, and RainbowYOUTH; with funding and support from Tourism New Zealand and WREDA.

“The group did a fantastic job promoting Wellington as the ideal conference destination gaining a unanimous vote from the conference organisers”, says Lisa Gardiner, Business Events Manager, Tourism New Zealand.

“Wellington is an ideal location, it has great conference facilities. It’s vibrant, diverse and inclusive. I have no doubt the delegates will have a fantastic time.”

Tourism New Zealand works with groups across the country to encourage and support them to bid to bring conferences to New Zealand.

“New Zealand is performing extremely well internationally as an attractive and unique business events destination. The estimated value from all conferences bid for in the last financial year is an impressive $96.3 million.”

“Major business events like this inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the New Zealand and event destination economy.”

Jessica Beyeler Business Events and Partnerships Manager, WREDA adds “The host organisations originally began talking with us about hosting the national ILGA conference, but we quickly realised that there was an opportunity for Wellington, with the support of Tourism New Zealand, to put together a very strong bid for the global event. Our cultural factors, the breadth and strength of our LBGTIQ organisations, combined with quality facilities, activities and vibrant social scene make for a very attractive destination.”

Elizabeth Kerekere. Chair. Tīwhanawhana Trust says “As the national organisation advocating for takatāpui (Māori with diverse sexes, genders and sexualities), Tīwhanawhana saw our involvement as a natural fit. Having won the bid, we look forward to ensuring the conference occurs according to Māori culture and values – as shared with ITANZ and RainbowYOUTH. We also aim the include LGBTIQ communities here in Aotearoa in a way ILGA has never seen.”

Mani Mitchell, E.D. ITANZ says “I have been closely involved with ILGA for the past decade. I am so proud of our delegation and what has been achieved. This conference gives us the chance to share with the world a very different way of working with the issues of our diverse queer communities in Aotearoa and the Pacific”

Key facts 

A number of conferences will be held across the country over the coming years benefiting many regions, these include Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington Christchurch and Dunedin.

Tourism New Zealand had a target to assist 60 conference bids a year. In the in 2015/16 financial year a massive 71 international bids were achieved with 72% success rate. The target was also exceeded in the previous financial year.

The Tourism New Zealand bid team is focussed on promoting New Zealand as a compelling business events destination in the core markets of Australia, China, South East Asia, USA and the Global Association market. 

Tourism New Zealand offers strategic marketing and bid assistance to internationally-affiliated organisations seeking to host a conference of more than 200 international delegates in New Zealand.  Assistance includes providing a financial feasibility study of the conference, bid presentation costs, international travel assistance, preparing professional documents and presentations to set bids apart and marketing strategies to improve an organisations chance of winning a bid.