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New Zealand launches Pīata Mai for business events sector vision

Piata Mai

Pīata Mai, New Zealand’s new strategic direction for business events, aims to shape the industry’s impact through 2035.

New Zealand‘s business events sector has united in a collaborative effort to launch Pīata Mai, a national statement of strategic direction outlining a focused vision for the industry over the next decade.

This initiative, guided by an industry stakeholder group and shaped through extensive consultations, is under the stewardship of the industry body, Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA). It aims to amplify the sector’s positive impact on culture, society, the environment, and the economy through 2035. Susan Sawbridge, former head of Major Events New Zealand led the consultation and delivery of the direction.

BEIA Chair, Martin Snedden says Pīata Mai is a first for New Zealand’s business events sector.

It means ‘to shine bright,’ and symbolizes the industry’s readiness to excel domestically and globally, driven by its commitment to resilience and sustainability. New Zealand Māori Tourism bestowed the name, and we are grateful to Dame Pania Nathan-Tyson and her team for honoring our sector with it. It illuminates the critical role and contributions of business events to communities throughout New Zealand, which have also been bolstered by some of the world’s most modern purpose-built infrastructure,” he says. “Pīata Mai not only guides BEIA in its pivotal role as guardian of the statement but also serves as a roadmap for industry businesses to identify impactful opportunities and foster alignment.

The strategy emphasizes storytelling about the sector’s community impacts, its foundational values of people and place, and the economic and legacy benefits of business events.

The 10-year aims and immediate objectives of Pīata Mai include commissioning credible domestic and international spend data, asking the sector to take measurable actions to reduce its environmental impact by 95%, and supporting the development of an enduring and equitable funding system for the visitor economy.

Lisa Hopkins, BEIA Chief Executive says Pīata Mai aligns with the broader goals of Tourism 2050, a vision set out by Tourism Industry Aotearoa in 2023.

With increased international and domestic conferences anticipated, it’s timely to emphasize our strategic position and collaborate with our whanau in tourism and hospitality,” she says. “This is about the business events sector taking leadership and ownership of its future while at the same time recognizing its contribution as an economic and social driver.

“Out of COVID, our industry became more resilient, entrepreneurial, and aware of how we impact the country. COVID also highlighted the economic gap left when business events were unable to take place, and the effect on people and place. Our vision is a dynamic business events sector with a thriving community, environmental stewardship, and engaged individuals who are recognized for their contributions,” Hopkins says.

Pīata Mai lays the groundwork for any organisation within the business events network to embark on a strategic journey aligned with this vision.”

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