Current projects and initiatives

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s 90-Day Plan sets out the projects the organisation will be working on over that period, allowing it to prioritise key activities.

For example, the workflow for July to September 2014 includes establishing the Auckland Investment Office, attracting one or more luxury hotel developers, encouraging investment into building at least three international student hostels, rejuvenating the i-Sites, delivering the Diwali Festival and developing the Superyacht Attraction programme.

ATEED’s initiatives to sustain economic growth include:

GridAKL innovation precinct at Wynyard Quarter

The innovation precinct at Wynyard Quarter, called GridAKL, opened in May 2014 with like-minded technology companies sharing space in the Polperro building. ATEED is managing the project, which is aimed at making Auckland an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific region.

ATEED appointed The BizDojo and The Icehouse as delivery partners for the operations of the ground-breaking innovation hub operations. The campus-styled environment – where tenants can share ideas and issues –  engages small and large ICT and digital media companies, start-ups, research and development organisations and specialised business support firms with an eye to commercialising new products.

The nearby, refurbished Lysaght building will be ready for more tenants by the middle of 2015. GridAKL will rapidly grow the local ICT and digital media sector, capitalising on the good work already achieved by smart Auckland high-tech companies which have created world-leading software, animation and other niche products.

The FoodBowl (Te Ipu Kai)

The FoodBowl, near Auckland International Airport, is a state-of-the-art food production facility operated in a joint venture between ATEED and government agency Callaghan Innovation. The facility enables innovative companies in the multi-billion dollar food and beverage sector to develop, test and produce new products in an export-certified environment. Companies can exclusively hire any one of the four fully-equipped processing halls in the facility.

The FoodBowl is part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network and is open 24/7 to all firms in the food and beverage industry. One client, Culley’s, tested and produced all its hot sauces at The FoodBowl. It then signed its first export deal to Australia, and a distribution agreement with Progressive Enterprises to supply the Countdown supermarkets in New Zealand.

Established poultry company, Tegel Foods successfully carried out year-long trials and produced a new export chicken product for Asian markets. The FoodBowl’s revolutionary high pressure processing (HPP) system enabled Tegel to extend the shelf life of its chilled chicken leg fillet and overcome the impact of long-distance travel.

World Masters Games 2017

ATEED successfully bid for Auckland to stage the ninth World Masters Games in 2017. It is the largest multi-sport event in the world, attracting more athletes than even the summer Olympic Games. ATEED set up a subsidiary company to plan and deliver the games in 2017 and Auckland is planning to host more than 25,000 athletes competing in 30 different sports.

The World Masters Games, held over 10 days from 21-30 April 2017, is the largest event New Zealand will host in the next decade. The event is the pinnacle sporting event for many masters athletes – masters level is for athletes aged 25 and over, depending on the sport. While competition is always fierce, the key goal is to stage an event that celebrates the passion of sport enthusiasts.

The first World Masters Games was held in 1985 in Toronto, Canada. A record 28,676 competitiors took part in Sydney in 2009, and Torino, which hosted the 2013 Games, struck another record – its entry came from 107 countries.

View World Masters Games Terms of Reference >

Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga

The Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga – A Journey through Sacred Islands – is a new tourism product, developed in partnership between ATEED, local iwi and Department of Conservation. It is a two to three day walking experience on Rangitoto and neighbouring Motutapu Island, and is one of the must-do walks in New Zealand.

Visitors walk to the summit of Rangitoto Island, look back to the stunning city views and explore the volcanic landscape. On day two they discover the cultural significance and ancient landscapes of Motutapu and the next day they learn about the restoration of Motutapu and walk through regenerating forest.

New Zealand Superyacht Attraction programme

This partnership, involving ATEED, Tourism New Zealand, NZ Marine and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, was launched in April 2014 to jointly attract more superyachts to Auckland and New Zealand for cruising, chartering and refit work. 

As at May 2014, there were 4896 supervachts of 30 metres and above in length in the global fleet and 411 more were being built. A report by said $29.3 million was spent by visiting yachts and crews in Auckland during the 2013-14 season. The spending included refits, repairs and maintenance, and operational expenses. The crews spent $4.3 million on tourism activities.

International Education Joint Venture with Education New Zealand

This is the first collaboration between ATEED and Education New Zealand, and an Auckland International Education Leadership Group was established. The group is developing a programme with other regions to assess the skills gap in high-growth areas that could be filled by New Zealand-trained international students, and reviewing the capacity for growth of Auckland’s international education providers.

With 454 schools, institutes and universities, Auckland is the preferred destination in New Zealand for international students. Auckland hosts 63 per cent of New Zealand’s 92,000 international students studying here annually, and these 58,000 students contribute $1.4 billion to the Auckland region’s economy. ATEED’s aim is to increase this contribution to $3.1 billion by 2023. Visit Study Auckland website >

More than half of the international students in Auckland study at private training establishments and English language schools, while the remainder are spread through primary, intermediate and secondary schools, polytechnics and technical institutes, and universities.

Youth Employment Traction Hub

ATEED has joined an Auckland Council project team to improve youth employment in the city and develop a skilled workforce. The team meets with external agencies and businesses to better understand their skills and resource needs in order to make changes that will help support our young people onto pathways of employment.

The Youth Employment Traction Hub includes people from ATEED and Auckland Council’s Economic Development, Community Development and Strategy, COMET, Libraries and HR teams, and is based in ATEED’s office in Quay Street.


Who to contact

  • Jude Todd
  • Executive Assistant to GM Business Attraction & Investment
  • Tel:  (09) 365 0521
  • Email: