Greetings from New Zealand, home of Congress 2015!

Registrations for Congress 2015 will open on Sunday, 19 April.

The planned ‘go-live’ date for registrations for Congress 2015 has been delayed for a couple of weeks, as we put the final touches to the arrangements, wait for several sponsors to confirm their participation, and test and bed-down the registration process.  We would rather that we go live a bit later and have everything perfect, than open registrations soon and have problems with it.  So, we are now advising that registrations for Congress 2015 will open on Sunday, 19 April.

We will be putting detailed information about the pre and post congress tours on our website soon, and will email everyone again in early April, ahead of registrations opening.

However, here is an overview for you to think about:   Three tours have been organised for those who want to experience more of New Zealand, with a particular emphasis on things agricultural.

The pre-congress tour starts in Napier and Hastings heads out from Auckland on the morning of Friday 9 October, travels through to Taupo and on up Rotorua, Tauranga, and over to Hamilton, arriving  early afternoon on Wednesday 13 October, in time for the delegates’ assembly and the opening night dinner. You will visit kiwifruit and avocado orchards, look at some of the science behind them, visit some award-winning beef, sheep and venison farms  and spend time at vineyards sampling international award-winning red wines.

After Congress 2015 there will be two tours for you to learn more about what makes New Zealand agriculture special.

Tour 1 will be based in and around the capital, Wellington, dubbed by Lonely Planet “The Coolest Little Capital in the World”. You will fly after the Congress finishes on Sunday afternoon, and start on the schedule of activities the next morning.  After a morning of briefings by Government officials and policymakers, you will travel to the vineyards of Martinborough, and on to Palmerston North, a research hub and a university city  with a strong agricultural focus.  On your way back to Wellington, on to see some a innovative horticultural operations and farms. More briefings, for those who want them, and time to vist the capital’s fabled cafes, shops and attractions.  You will arrive back in Wellington for several more briefings and free time, with a dinner at the home of one of the planning team.   The next morning the tour finishes

Tour 2 takes in the top half of the South Island, flying to Nelson after the congress finishes.. You will visit seafood industries, taste world-famous sauvignon blanc, and look at a variety of farms and research centres.  Christchurch is a research hub and a university city with a strong agricultural focus, and you will head for the high country to see merino sheep farming on the foothills of the Southern Alps.   The tour finishes late on the evening of 23 October, back in Christchurch, and you can fly or drive from there to your next destination.

Tourism opportunities will be built in to each of the tours.  Both Wellington and Christchurch have international airports, so you can fly home direct, if you want to.

If you have any queries, email us at