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cruise new zealand debbie summers and kevin o'sullivan
Debbie Summers and Kevin O’Sullivan with one of the Maori performers at the welcome function PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon

Debbie Summers re-elected chairman of New Zealand Cruise Association

ID New Zealand Executive Director Debbie Summers is entering her fourth year as chairman of the New Zealand Cruise Association following the seventh annual conference in Auckland August 22-23.

Other board members

Ports of Auckland Cruise Operations Manager Leigh Robins was re-elected deputy chairman and Mark Kerr, Akorn DMC cruise manager New Zealand, was elected treasurer.

The other board members are Kevin Winders (Port Otago), Bruce Lochhead (Napier Port), Sean Marsh (Te Puia), Jacqui Lloyd (Destination Marlborough) and Doug Colaco (ISS-McKay). Tansy Tompkins is the representative of Tourism New Zealand and she is joined by Steve Hanrahan, advocacy manager of Tourism Industry Aotearoa. Kevin O’Sullivan is CEO.

A record number of more than 250 delegates attended this year’s event, which had the theme ‘Shaping the Future.’

Next year to Christchurch

In keeping with the tradition of holding the conference every other year outside of Auckland, it was announced that NZCA 2020 will be held in Christchurch next August.

Christchurch was devastated by an earthquake in February 2011 and cruise ships have been diverted to Akaroa, which has proved to be a popular destination and is now firmly on the international cruise map.

Lyttelton, the major port for Christchurch which was severely damaged, is set to open New Zealand’s first custom-built cruise ship facility in November 2020.

Auckland in 2021

There is massive construction work under way in Auckland in preparation for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 — when NZCA 2021 is scheduled to take place.

As Ludo Campbell-Reid, GM Auckland Design Office, told delegates, five years ago there were no cranes in the skyline of Auckland and today there are 90.

‘Auckland, which is the gateway to 70% of all arrivals in New Zealand, is a great destination,’ Campbell-Reid said. ‘It will be even greater.’