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Wellington makes history winning digital preservation conference

Wellington has added more wins to its business events calendar, bringing a major conference on digital preservation to New Zealand for the first time.

The iPRES 21st International Conference on Digital Presentation will take place in 2025 at Tākina, Wellington’s new Convention and Exhibition Centre.

iPRES is the oldest international conference about long-term digital preservation. The annual event brings hundreds of researchers and practitioners from all over the world to discuss the latest research and practice for protecting and making accessible digital collections.

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, is home to the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – the entity leading the conference bid – as well as Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga, with whom National Library shares a digital preservation programme. The National Library has a specific focus on collecting, preserving, and making accessible the documentary heritage of New Zealand, in every format including digital.

This expertise in digital preservation and National Library’s history of engagement with the international digital preservation community, as well as Tākina’s ability to host a hybrid in-person/virtual conference, were key factors in the city winning the conference.

Andrea Goethals, Programme Director at the National Library of New Zealand, says: “By hosting iPRES in Wellington we can highlight our digital preservation activities in New Zealand while showing our commitment to being part of the international effort to protect our global digital heritage.

“We see this as an opportunity for New Zealand organisations to learn from and make connections with the community of international digital preservation experts.”

The bid for the event was supported by Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager New Zealand & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “This is an excellent win, attracting international delegates to Wellington and bringing valuable knowledge to assist with the ongoing preservation of New Zealand’s digital heritage.”

The win is just the latest in a series of wins for Tākina, which is on track to open mid-2023. The purpose-built venue will be able to accommodate a plenary of up to 1,600 delegates, alongside exhibition space and stand-alone meeting rooms.

Business Events Wellington Manager Irette Ferreira says: “We’re already seeing great interest in Tākina, winning conferences that wish to capitalise on the benefits of hosting an event in the capital city, home to many of New Zealand’s national organisations and thought leaders.”

Other recently awarded conferences for Tākina include: The Early Childhood Council Conference in 2023, the Federated Farmers’ Primary Industries Summit & Awards in 2023, and The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases’ Annual Scientific Meeting in 2024.