Wellington boosts its advocate network with five new ambassadors


Wellington is continuing to build its advocate programme to support the city in attracting international conferences, with the addition of five new ambassadors in key fields, from health to earth science and design.

The new ambassadors are Dr Jessica Mills (Psychosocial Oncology New Zealand); Dr Nadia Pantidi (Victoria University); Mark Lawrence (GNS Science); Dr Lee Davidson (Victoria University); and Paul Atkins (Royal Society Te Apārangi).

“The internationally recognised expertise of these thought leaders and their organisations play a major role in attracting international conferences to Wellington and showcasing our research and innovation on the world stage,” said Business Events Wellington manager Irette Ferreira.

“We’re grateful to our new advocates for their time and support. We also encourage others to join them in bidding for conferences that will bring positive benefits to Wellington’s knowledge sectors, economy and society.”

Dr Pantidi was instrumental in bidding for OzCHI 2023, the International Annual Conference on Computer Human Interaction.

“This is an opportunity to bring people over and showcase the excellent and diverse research we do in the area of Human Computer Interaction, as well as what New Zealand and specifically Wellington has to offer across several industries such as gaming, film, fine arts and tech startups,” said Dr Pantidi.

Dr Davidson bid for and won the Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies in 2026.

“The theme of the conference will be Whakapapa/Relationality, and how heritage connects people with each other, with the past and with the land,” he said.

“Delegates will be able to ground theory in practice through proximity to Wellington-based national organisations such as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, Heritage New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Museums Aotearoa, and Creative New Zealand.”