Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) Congress will take place in
Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2016, where international delegates can witness
the regeneration of the city post-earthquake. Marilyn Moffatt, Executive
Director, New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors, says: "Membership
is voluntary for our organisation. Hosting this event is about leadership - our
members can see we are taking a leading role internationally in this sector. It
raises the engagement and excitement about our industry and makes more people
want to belong to our association."
City builds International Interest - An Interview with NZIQS
Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) 2016 Congress will take place 20–24 May 2016,
in Christchurch. It is expected to attract 200 overseas delegates from
Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Sri Lanka,
Canada, South Africa, Europe and the USA, alongside 150 delegates from New
Moffatt, Executive Director, New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors
post-earthquake Christchurch is a particularly relevant host for the conference
theme ‘Building For the Future - A Global Dilemma’.
Why bring this event to New Zealand?
“Our people are involved in the construction industry and there’s a lot
happening in Christchurch for visiting delegates to see in terms of site
visits. It’s the opportunity for people to see a new city being built. I think
it goes back to how New Zealanders work in general - there’s a lot of
innovation in our industry, a lot of that forced by what has happened in
Christchurch. Attendees can discuss and discover the new building structures
and techniques being used in the construction community.
“At NZIQS we like to think of ourselves as leaders in the Pacific. Some
conferences tend to be a little more academic-focused, whereas our conference
is looking at speakers that will add value to people working in the sector,
it’s a more practical approach. We’re well regarded for technical knowledge. ”
What are the benefits of holding a conference in New Zealand for your
“Membership is voluntary for our organisation. Hosting this event is
about leadership - they can see we are taking a leading role internationally in
this sector and that adds excitement. The media attention will also lift our
profile within the industry in New Zealand.
“People really enjoy the opportunity to network with delegates from
overseas. We will also have more resources for this conference, so we can bring
more international speakers across. It raises the engagement and excitement
about our industry and makes more people want to belong to it, so that’s a plus
in retaining and recruiting members and generating interest in NZIQS.”
What support did you get to help bring the conference to New Zealand?
Tourism New Zealand has been fantastic and offered us guidance in
applying for the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), which gave us funding
for a feasibility study, and paid towards attending the 2014 PAQS congress in
Hong Kong to bid for the 2016 event. It also included producing high quality
bid documents and presentation material that the delegates were very impressed
This year we received further CAP funding to promote our conference at
the 2015 PAQS conference in Yokohama. We got together a Maori concert party of
people based in Japan and at the conference handover they came on stage and
performed some songs. That went down really well, it was a bit different. TNZ
is really open to different ideas - we made the suggestion and they made it
One of the biggest attractions of our stand this year was the
traditional Kiwi lollies we had - Minties and Pineapple Lumps. We had people
coming over saying they had been waiting for us! That really helped with
engagement. TNZ had also provided promotional material and banners which
generated a high level of interest from delegates about coming to the
conference and talking about what they can do in NZ beyond the event itself.
New Zealand is on a lot of people’s wish list to visit, so they are planning to
come, bring their families and take the opportunity to travel.
“I think the interest levels are much higher than usual because people
are really excited about coming to New Zealand. Part of it is the attraction of
Christchurch and wanting to see the development there; part of the draw card is
that New Zealand is somewhere they have always wanted to go to.”
How easy was it to plan an event in Christchurch?
“It was easier to plan an event there than we had thought. We were
really surprised at the conference infrastructure that is in place
post-earthquake; we got a lot of help from Tourism New Zealand and Christchurch
& Canterbury Convention Bureau. They made it very easy for us, we couldn’t
have done it without them.
“Meetings will take place at the Novotel Christchurch, and the Congress
itself at Wigram Air Force Base. We did some early site inspections and what
gave us confidence was the number of large international conferences that have
already successfully taken place there. Wigram Airforce Base isn’t a
purpose-built convention facility but they were able to show it set up for a
conference. We didn't want to rely on what was going to be built, but on our
visits we could see the number of beds available at different types of
accommodation already, and that was more than enough.”
Society of Association Executives – Connect Newsletter