Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will host the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) World Convention in 2026, putting New Zealand’s education community on the world stage.
The convention will be hosted at the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in September 2026 and is expected to attract up to 3000 school principals from around the world. New Zealand last hosted the event in 2007.
Securing this significant event was a team effort between the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF), the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme. Letters of support and endorsement for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as host city were also received from principals around the country, the Mayor of Auckland, and central government.
NZPF President Leanne Otene says: “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. 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 learners / pupils attending school and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence.
“ICP is a place where educators can share ideas and best practice and see what’s working elsewhere in the world.
‘We’re expecting a good turnout. New Zealand is a destination that people will want to come to from a tourism perspective, but we also have a reputation that we will put on an amazing convention. 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.”
Otene adds: “New Zealand offers a unique perspective. We’re at that leading edge in terms of being culturally responsive to First Nations people, and educators around the world want to see how that’s done.
“Our international visitors will be able to see themselves in our schools and see how we’re supporting their growth in terms of their cultural identity. Schools are the centre of embracing different cultures. We are building a generation that’s much more tolerant of difference.”
Head of ACB Ken Pereira says: “Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is home to more than 220 ethnic groups and the largest Māori and Pacific populations of any city outside of the Pacific Islands. For a conference like the International Confederation of Principals, this point of difference is a crucial draw card.
Auckland’s DNA is defined by the fact that more than a third of Aucklanders were born overseas. 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.”
The convention is expected to deliver an estimated $4.6m boost to Auckland’s economy and offers international guests the chance to explore the region and the rest of the country while they are here.
Tourism New Zealand General Manager Business Events and NZ Bjoern Spreitzer says: “The ICP World Convention is an excellent example of the positive economic, cultural and social benefits that business events deliver to New Zealand.”
NZICC’s General Manager Prue Daly adds: “As the only venue in New Zealand large enough to host a conference of this scale, it is a privilege to be welcoming the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) and their delegates to the New Zealand International Convention Centre in 2026.
“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.”
NOTES TO EDITOR
About the Auckland Convention Bureau
Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) is a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited — Auckland’s cultural and economic agency. Tātaki Auckland Unlimited supports and enhances Auckland’s ability to compete internationally, and to fuel the growth of the region’s industry sectors of competitive advantage through collaboration. ACB helps conference planners create unforgettable events from start to finish.