Christchurch has secured the rights to host a valuable international conference themed around national disasters.
The Public Communicators of Science and Technology Symposium will be held in the city late next February - two years after the devastating earthquake hit Canterbury.
An announcement was made this afternoon by Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ). The conference - followed by the International Federation of Surveyors Working Week conference, set down for 2016 - will support the city's economic rebuild, TNZ said.
Around 150 international delegates are expected to joint 100 New Zealand delegates for next year's symposium.
The bid was won with the backing of the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), which is managed by TNZ on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.
"There's a lot of expertise in that city in dealing with crisis and dealing with rebuilding, re-envisaging what a city could be all about," TNZ chief executive Kevin Bowler said.
He said the 2013 conference was a promising start for Christchurch. "It will play a role in the rebirth and rebuilding of the city's economic strength," Bowler said.
SCANZ president Phil Johnstone said the theme was likely to be on natural disasters, public communication and engagement, and highlighted a "unique advantage" New Zealand held over other nations.
"Ironically this puts us in a unique position of now having a significant cohort of experienced people here with expert knowledge around the communication and engagement issues that arise from these sorts of events," he said.
It is the fifth conference won by TNZ since it took over management of the CAP a year ago.
The 2016 conference will host at least 700 international delegates and exhibitors, and it is estimated it will bring an economic benefit of nearly $3 million to the region.
CAP's other successes include the Digital Earth Summit in September 2012, the General Assembly of Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate in Queenstown in January 2014, and the 6th Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress in Rotorua in 2015.