Hon Paula Bennett

Hon Paula Bennett, Associate Minister of Tourism, will speak on the opportunities and challenges facing tourism in New Zealand.


Paula has lived in Auckland since 1992, first in the North Shore and now in West Auckland. She grew up in Taupo.


She became a Minister of the Crown in 2008 after being elected to Parliament in 2005. She became MP for Upper Harbour in 2014 with a majority of close to 9,000 votes, after having served as MP for Waitakere for six years.

Upon National taking office in 2008, Paula was made Minister of Social Development, a role she held until October 2014. She describes the positive impact she was able to make in the lives of our most vulnerable as one of the highlights of her career so far. Paula’s tenure makes her the longest serving Minister of Social Development in New Zealand’s history.


Now ranked number five in Cabinet, Paula is the Minister of Local Government, Social Housing, State Services, and Associate Minister of Tourism and Finance. She’s excited by the synergy between her new portfolios and remains focused on making sure Government delivers results for hard-working Kiwis.

Keynote Speakers:
Hon Paula Bennett, Prof Simon Milne, Krishna Botica
Professor Simon Milne

New Zealand Tourism 2025: Challenges to Growing Value Together


Professor Simon Milne, Director, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology



New Zealand has recently embarked on a new national tourism strategy. The development of Tourism 2025 was industry led and it embraces a yield driven framework rather than simply focusing on increasing visitor arrivals. At the heart of this strategy is the desire to grow value and generate sustained benefits for New Zealand tourism and the wider economy. In this presentation I explore some of the core challenges that New Zealand and its regions face in achieving the strategic goals outlined in Tourism 2025. In particular, I highlight the need to incorporate the missing dimension of community into the strategic framework. I argue that the building of ‘interactive communities’ is critical if we are to generate improved yield from ‘interactive travellers’ while at the same time reducing emerging conflicts over the use of shared resources.  



Simon Milne is Professor of Tourism at Auckland University of Technology, where he is Director of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (www.nztri.org). Simon completed his PhD in economic geography at Cambridge University in 1989 and then taught at McGill University, Montreal for ten years before returning to New Zealand in 1999. For the past 30 years Simon’s research has focused on the interface between tourism, ICT, community and sustainable economic development. Much of his research focuses on developing applied solutions to pressing tourism development needs in both developed and developing nations. Simon has consulted to a number of international organisations including UNESCAP, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, the European Union, the World Bank and the Organisation of American States.


Krishna Botica

Pulse Check on New Zealand’s Hospitality Industry


Krishna Botica, Auckland Branch President, Restaurant Association of New Zealand

This presentation will take you through key stats for the industry in New Zealand, trends, challenges and triumphs.


Krishna Botica has extensive experience in running successful hospitality businesses, having owned and run the very popular Prego Restaurant for 23 years. Krishna now owns Café Hanoi and Xu Xu in central Auckland and the Restaurant Association Auckland Branch President. Krishna has worked closely with the association over many years, sitting on the Auckland branch committee as well as making huge contributions of time and effort with the Association’s professional development seminars, running the ever popular First Time Managers training sessions which are always a sellout.