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Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand’s meetingS industry wants to make a deeper connection at the AIME trade show, with guests to the stand being encouraged to learn their pepeha.

Pepeha is a traditional structured introduction in Māori culture that connects people to place, with the goal of identifying yourself and making connections with others. It establishes one’s identity and heritage, and using natural landscapes, like mountains, rivers and lakes, paints a picture of where someone belongs.

Guests to the stand will receive assistance to create their own version of the pepeha that names their maunga (mountain) and moana (river or sea), and whānau or family name. The New Zealand partners will be able to reciprocate with their own pepeha, seeking to find common connections. Guests will be able to take a printed artwork of their pepeha home.

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Photo Credit: AIME

Bjoern Spreitzer

General Manager Domestic & Business Events at Tourism New Zealand

Bjoern Spreitzer said: “Pepeha speaks to each individual’s identity and provides a warm introduction for connecting with others; where they’re from, what is important to them. These are all important connections to make when organising a business event.”

“It’s also a way to introduce how Māori culture can be incorporated into a business event, providing a unique and authentic New Zealand experience that delegates would get nowhere else.”

Spreitzer adds: “With new venues and activities coming online, plus flexible, competitive and business-specific funding and support on offer, there are lots for us to share with event organisers from across the region.”

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Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Māori culture is underpinned by a strong connection to the natural world, which can be felt in the use of pepeha. As well as connecting us to nature, pepeha also connect us with other people, which is important in a culture that emphasises hospitality and the uplifting of others.

Events in New Zealand often incorporate cultural concepts, such as laying a wero (setting a challenge for delegates to consider) or coming together for uplifting waiata (traditional songs). Guests to New Zealand’s AIME stand will also be able to meet with representatives from Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team, regional convention bureaux and hotels, to discuss bringing their next business event to New Zealand.

Representatives of the three new-generation convention centres in New Zealand – Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre and the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland – will also be on the stand.

Join New Zealand at AIME on Stand A60 to learn your pepeha and receive a welcome that’s far from generic.