Auckland’s diversity helps secure global principals convention

The NZICC will host the ICP World Convention in 2026.

Auckland has secured another major conference for the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) with the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) World Convention in 2026.

The convention is expected to attract up to 3,000 school principals from around the world.

New Zealand last hosted the event in 2007, with the 2026 ICP convention secured through a team effort between the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF), the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme.

“Hosting the convention in New Zealand will expose New Zealand’s educators to the world’s leading researchers and the top international speakers in this sector,” said NZPF president Leanne Otene.

“Conversely, we have some incredibly good researchers in New Zealand, and we can put them on the world stage. It’s a great opportunity.”

Otene says principals around the world are facing similar issues on a few fronts, including a decline in pupils attending school and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence.

‘We’re expecting a good turnout,” she said. “We’ll have this beautiful new venue and the opportunity to showcase our multicultural city, with visitors also having the opportunity to visit schools around the city.”

Ken Pereira, Head of ACB, said Auckland’s diverse population, including the largest Māori and Pacific populations of any city outside of the Pacific Islands, was a crucial draw card for the convention.

“Auckland’s DNA is defined by the fact that more than a third of Aucklanders were born overseas,” he said.

“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.”

NZICC general manager Prue Daly said they were only venue in New Zealand large enough to host a conference of this scale.

“The sharing of knowledge and showcasing New Zealand’s manaakitanga are fundamental values of the NZICC, and to be able to foster this through the ICP conference, who are utilising all 32,500 sqm of our world-class venue, is very exciting,” she said.