Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will host the Massage & Myotherapy Australia 2023 National Conference, the first time the event will be held outside Australia.

Massage & Myotherapy Australia is the leading representative body for massage therapists, remedial massage therapists and myotherapists in Australia. Up to 300 qualified therapists are expected to attend the training, education, and networking conference in Auckland, including members of Massage New Zealand, which will not hold its 2023 national meeting to attend a combined event.

Massage & Myotherapy Australia CEO Ann Davey says: “We wanted to do something with a bit of a bang for our 20th year and New Zealand is it. The world got a lot bigger during COVID-19 because you couldn’t go anywhere; but it also got smaller, and we reached out to colleagues around the world. The massage industry was hit pretty hard. We already had a relationship with Massage New Zealand and that just got stronger.

“We are working with Massage New Zealand to enable us to bring the best experience not only for our members that may travel but also to Massage New Zealand members in terms of learning and collaboration.

“The announcement was made at this year’s National Conference, and the reaction from the delegates was huge. Massage & Myotherapy Australia members are excited to be going to New Zealand.”

Conference Co-ordinator David Sheehan says: “The education level for New Zealand therapists is very high – they’re very well respected. There’ll be plenty of reciprocal benefits. Massage New Zealand is a strong association. We’re building our relationship with an aim to formalise a partnership.”

Florence Samuels and Bernie Withington, Co-chairs of Massage New Zealand, add: “Massage New Zealand are thrilled to welcome Massage & Myotherapy Australia to Aotearoa for their 20th Year Anniversary Conference in 2023. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with Massage & Myotherapy Australia offering massage therapists from both countries a spectacular conference experience. Our massage therapists will welcome this event as we have not had a conference in New Zealand since 2019. “

The event bid was supported by Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, and Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team, with Massage & Myotherapy Australia praising Auckland’s hands-on approach to research and familiarisation visits for venues and pre- and post-conference options. ACB Manager Ken Pereira says: “Confirmation today of yet another first for our region is a nod to our experience, our venues and our knowledge to host world-class events. And with New Zealand open to the world, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland continues to be a drawcard for international business events planners.”

The event, scheduled to take place at the Grand Millennium Auckland in May next year, is estimated to inject close to $320,000 into Auckland’s economy.

Ann Davey adds: “We don’t want them to fly in and fly out. It’s a terrific opportunity for our therapists to fit in a holiday, and an incentive to attend. We want them to get something out of it other than learning.”

Tourism New Zealand General Manager New Zealand & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “This is a great win for New Zealand and a great move for the massage and myotherapy industry. Holding a trans-Tasman conference opens opportunities to develop regional initiatives, from professional development to advocacy, strengthening the industry and ensuring its sustainable future.”