Auckland wins major principals convention

The ICP World Convention is an excellent example of the positive economic, cultural and social benefits that business events deliver to New Zealand

Come September 2026, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will play host to the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) World Convention.

The convention will be hosted at the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) and is expected to attract up to 3,000 school principals from around the world. New Zealand last hosted the event in 2007.

The ICP World Convention is an example of the positive economic, cultural and social benefits that business events deliver to New Zealand; Auckland pictured

Securing this significant event was a team effort between the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF), the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme. Letters of support and endorsement for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as host city were also received from principals around the country, the Mayor of Auckland, and the central government.

The convention is expected to deliver an estimated NZ$4.6 million (US$2.8 million) boost to Auckland’s economy and offers international guests the chance to explore the region and the rest of the country.

NZPF’s president, Leanne Otene, is expecting a good turnout. She stated: “New Zealand offers a unique perspective. We’re at that leading edge in terms of being culturally responsive to First Nations people, and educators around the world want to see how that’s done.”

As such, delegates will also have the opportunity to visit schools around the city to see how the country embraces different cultures, and building a generation that is more tolerant of difference.

This comes as principals around the world are facing similar issues on a few fronts, including a decline in learners/pupils attending school and the emergence of artificial intelligence, added Otene.

Head of ACB, Ken Pereira, noted: “Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is home to more than 220 ethnic groups and the largest Māori and Pacific populations of any city outside of the Pacific Islands. For a conference like the International Confederation of Principals, this point of difference is a crucial draw card.

“Auckland’s DNA is defined by the fact that more than a third of Aucklanders were born overseas. It’s what makes Auckland such a must-visit destination and award-winning host region for events – the knowledge and the culture we share with delegates are invaluable.”

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