Wellington wins earth science conference for 2026

Wellington has secured one of the largest international conferences dedicated to the study of sedimentary rocks and the processes by which they are formed.

The 22nd International Sedimentological Congress (ISC) is rarely held in the Southern Hemisphere but in 2026 it will be hosted by Geoscience Society of New Zealand’s Sedimentology Special Interest Group (SSIG).

The congress is expected to attract up to 1,000 participants to Tākina, Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The theme for the congress will be ‘Sedimentation on active plate margins through time and space’ and will include field trips across the country covering as broad a range of sedimentary systems in Zealandia as possible.

“Geologically New Zealand is very interesting,” said lead organiser and senior geologist at GNS Science, Dr Mark Lawrence.

“It has a whole range of geological attributes concentrated in a relatively small geographic area. Then you have the impact of tectonics, and climate change. It’s essentially a neat, small-scale laboratory.”

WellingtonNZ general manager David Perks says the capital’s central location makes it the perfect location for this congress.

“Being so central to the rest of New Zealand means all the site visits to be undertaken by delegates are very accessible,” he said.

“While the congress doesn’t happen until 2026, it’s great to see that Tākina is already front of mind for international organisations. It was specifically designed to host international conferences of this size.”