Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand will host a major global communications conference the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in 2024, the first time in almost 30 years the event will take place in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 1000 international and national delegates are expected to convene in Ōtautahi Christchurch at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in July 2024, delivering an estimated $1.6m to the local economy.

The conference will be hosted by Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha|University of Canterbury (UC) academics, putting Indigenous knowledge at the centre of communication research. UC’s bid for the conference was submitted in partnership with mana whenua (the local tribe), with the support of ChristchurchNZ and Tourism New Zealand.

IAMCR president Nico Carpentier and UC Tumu Whakarae|Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey formally signed the Memorandum of Understanding and UC’s commitment to supporting this conference. The conference theme, Whiria te tangata | Weave the people together: Communicative projects of decolonising, engaging, and listening, invites reflection on the terms and models appropriate to describe contemporary communication, including the political and moral goals embedded in them. Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique bicultural history and position make it an ideal location for this conference.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

UC’s formal partnership with local iwi Ngāi Tūāhuriri also contributed to the successful bid. UC is also home to the country’s first journalism school and is the only institution in the country to offer a Māori communications major.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “New Zealand is a very fitting host for this conference. The visitors attending IAMCR will not only be able to explore our country but our unique culture and perspectives.”

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

“Supporting this conference is a unique opportunity for our academics to share their perspectives on Indigenous knowledge with the wider world and perhaps inspire communications research globally,” Professor De la Rey says.

School of Language, Social and Political Sciences Professor Donald Matheson, the lead academic bringing this conference to Ōtautahi Christchurch, says, “Holding the conference in Aotearoa is a chance to put decolonising communication and Indigenous media at the heart of academic thinking. It’s also a chance for this country to share our experience of partnership between mana whenua and settler society. It’s also about manaaki. Mana whenua and the university are teaming up to welcome our manuhiri (visitors) and provide an exceptional experience attendees won’t forget.”

ChristchurchNZ’s Head of Business Events, Megan Crum adds: “Delegates can expect ease of access through our international airport, a warm welcome, a vibrant compact and walkable city with incredible new infrastructure, and stunning regions to explore after the conference.”

Find out more about Tourism New Zealand here.

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