Auckland – The Queenstown international marathon has made it to the finals of the best major New Zealand event of the year.
The winners of the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals (NZAEP) annual awards will be named at a gala dinner at the Auckland Museum on August 4. The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and the Auckland Nines league shared the best major event last year.
The other four finalists just announced are the ASB Tennis Classic, Sauvignon 2016, the Challenge Wanaka triathlon and the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open.
Judge and company director, Dame Therese Walsh, says the finalists demonstrated a high level of expertise in running large and complex events, and keep New Zealand top of mind as a global player in the events industry.
“Many of the events showcase the best we have to offer and encourage both local and international participation all while generating economic and social benefits for the local community and the country. The quality of the finalists is exceptional and we look forward to seeing these events grow and prosper into the future.”
Dame Therese was chief operating officer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and head of the organising committee for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The Air NZ Queenstown marathon in November is perfectly positioned for New Zealand tourism in the off season. The judges say the event had excellent international growth.
The marathon is living up to its international billing with huge overseas interest resulting in the event selling out in the full marathon, half marathon and 10km races. Hosted in the stunning Queenstown Lakes region the event has struck a chord with overseas participants with an incredible 14 percent of the 9000 entries from overseas.
Challenge Wanaka is rated one of the world’s toughest long distance triathlon courses set against the stunning alpine backdrop of New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. It is New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival, featuring events for all ages and abilities involving more than 2000 participants, attracting 10,000 spectators and a global audience of millions.
The ASB Tennis Classic is a long-standing event that continues to find ways to grow and engage its audience. The tournament is a great plug for the sport, for Auckland and for tourism. The ASB Classic set new records and continues to attract global superstars such as Venus Williams.
The international Sauvignon 2016 celebration of wine in Marlborough is well pitched to New Zealand’s strengths. The new event shines the spotlight on New Zealand flagship wine variety. The event is the first of its kind in New Zealand and it hosted the world’s leading wine producers, experts and key influencers.
BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open is a tier one event on the PGA golf tour of Australasia held at The Hills Golf Course and Millbrook Resort near Queenstown. The event is live in Japan to eight million homes through the Japan Golf Network. Judges say the world class tournament has good links with corporate New Zealand and congratulated organisers on making the event profitable while offering such a strong prize pool of $1 million.
The NZAEP was set up 10 years ago to advocate for the burgeoning events industry in New Zealand. The annual awards celebrate the best of the best events in New Zealand.
For further information contact NZAEP chief executive Vicki Watson on 027 5376088 or Make Lemonade media specialist Kip Brook on 0275 030188.
Photo: Challenge Wanaka triathlon