News and Issues

NZ Events Association announces 2019 New Zealand Event Awards winners

27 October 2020

While the global events industry has faced unprecedented challenges through 2020, New Zealand events organisers, venues and the entire supply chain  are positioned for a strong comeback, with pent-up demand, resurgent consumer spending, and a population eager to get out and about after the tough months of lockdown.

That’s according to NZ Events Association (NZEA) General Manager Ségolène de Fontenay. In announcing the winners of the organisation’s Event Awards for 2019, she says that while the outlook is uncertain owing to the unfolding global situation, the sector is ready for its recovery phase which in turn will help drive much needed domestic tourism.

“New Zealanders love their events and that’s been clear in the quality and sheer number of entries received for the 2019 season. It’s an honour to recognise excellence not only from the winners, but also from every finalist ,” she says.

Every year hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders choose to engage with events, through their attendance, participation and volunteering. Not only does this provide significant social, physical, and cultural benefits, de Fontenay points to the contribution the events industry can make to the economic recovery of New Zealand’s domestic tourism sector.  “Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has noted that up to one third of domestic travel is driven by people looking to take part in events. That’s a multi-billion dollar spend directly linked to the work of event professionals.”

She praises the consistently high standard of award entries, with a total of 106 events vying for the judges’ nod across eighteen categories, which acknowledge the success of sports, arts and culture, community, corporate social responsibility and business events, individuals, venues, sponsors and suppliers,

There is also a public vote for New Zealand’s Favourite Event of the Year. The people have spoken and One Love 2019 has emerged as a crowd-pleaser.

“With such high standards, I’d like to congratulate all our finalists and most importantly, those winners who took home an award tonight. I’d also like to thank the industry for the remarkable way in which it has navigated in this most unusual of Covid environments and for the resilience and professionalism New Zealand’s events sector continues to demonstrate.

“The NZ Events Association encourages all Kiwis to support the people who make our economy, culture and lives so much richer through vibrant events every year. Our country’s incredible events ecosystem helps to keep us engaged, educated, connected and entertained’ so please join us in celebrating them,” de Fontenay concludes.

The winners are:

Individual Awards


Best Emerging Event Professional 2019 (Sponsored by NZICC):
Briar Jones  
Best Established Event Professional 2019 (Sponsored by NZICC):
Carla Steed         
Best Event Sponsorship Professional 2019 (Sponsored by ATEED):
Monique Gibson                      

Excellence Awards


Category:  Best Arts or Cultural Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info)
Winner: Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019
Entered by: Te Matatini Society Incorporated           

Category: Best Corporate Event
Winner: Building Nations 2019
Entered by: Infrastructure New Zealand       

Category: Best Not-for-Profit or Cause-related Event
Winner: Harcourts Dancing for Hospice
Entered by: Rotorua Community Hospice

Category: Best Sports Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info)
Winner: Anchor AIMS Games
Entered by: AIMS Games Trust & Tauranga City Council

Category: Best International Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens
Entered by New Zealand Rugby & 37 South Events

Category: Best Regional or National Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: Anchor AIMS Games
Entered by AIMS Games Trust & Tauranga City Council

Category : Best Local Government Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: Highlight: Carnival of Lights
Entered by Hutt City Council 

Category: Best Community Event (Sponsored by Sidekicker)
Winner: TEDxChristchurch 2019
Entered by Missing Link Consultants

Category: Best Event Sponsorship
Winner: ASB Auckland Marathon
Entered by ASB

Category: Best Music or Entertainment Event (Sponsored by ATEED)
Winner: Second Unit – What Will You Do in the Shadows
Entered by Tāwhiri     

Support Awards


Category: Best Design & Build
Winner: The Sephora Beauty Bus
Entered by DARKHORSE    

Category: Best Event Marketing
Winner: Paintvine Paint and Wine Events    
Entered by Paintvine 

Category: Best Food Experience (Sponsored by ATEED)
Winner: TEDxChristchurch   
Entered by Missing Link Consultants & Vbase

Category: Best Supplier (Sponsored by NZICC)
Winner: Sidekicker for The All Blacks Game at Westpac Stadium (July 2019)
Entered by Sidekicker

Category: Best Venue (Sponsored by Sidekicker)
Winner: Wellington Regional Stadium Trust for Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019 and Eminem Rapture 2019
Entered by: Wellington Regional Stadium Trust       

New Zealand’s Favourite Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info) by public vote
Winner: One Love 2019
Entered by: Pato Entertainment

Notes to the editor
New Zealand Events Association (NZEA), formerly known as New Zealand Association of Event Professionals, was formed fifteen years ago and now has over 1,000 members. The Association represents the ever-increasing breadth of the New Zealand events industry. Its purpose is to advocate all aspects of events nationally; their economic outcomes and social benefits, and the people who work and volunteer in and around this unique industry in New Zealand.

Media contacts
Leandri Smith, The Mail Room, 027 365 9003 or leandri@themailroom.biz
Ségolène de Fontenay, NZ Events Association, 027 484 7722 or segolene@nzea.co

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