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Hotel Group Teams Up With Legendary Mountaineer

NEWS RELEASE May 18 2001

Leading Hotel Group Teams Up With Legendary Mountaineer

Legendary mountaineer and adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary will be a special guest at Millennium, Copthorne and Quality Hotels & Resorts' cocktail function on Monday 21st May for Trenz 2001.

Sir Edmund is one of several outstanding New Zealanders featuring in the hotel group's New Zealand 'first' marketing campaign launched for TRENZ, which focuses on highlighting people and events that shaped our nation.

For the duration of the four-day event, Millennium, Copthorne and Quality Hotels & Resorts will promote the campaign message: 'Your FIRST choice for accommodation - everytime"

To highlight the definition of being the 'first choice', New Zealand people and events that achieved a notable first will be profiled to the international buyers attending TRENZ. Some prominent 'firsts' that will be highlighted include:

* Sir Edmund Hillary - First mountaineer to climb Everest * The Rt Hon Jenny Shipley - First female New Zealand Prime Minister * Team New Zealand - First Kiwis to win the Americas Cup. * Jean Batten - First woman to fly from England to Australia, return * Lurline - First Kiwi horse to compete in the Melbourne Cup

Sir Edmund Hillary has helped shape a nation and capture the imagination of the world, through his inspirational exploits and adventures.

We are delighted he can join us as at our cocktail function at the Millennium Hotel Christchurch.


Michelle Gysberts Vice President Sales & Marketing Millennium Copthorne and Quality Hotels & Resorts New Zealand Phone: +64-9-913 8006 Mobile: +64 21 61 77 61 Email:

Sir Edmund Hillary: PROFILE

Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1919. His father was a newspaper editor and professional beekeeper, and his mother was a schoolteacher. Hillary was educated at Auckland Grammar School and spent two years at Auckland University before joining his father in the honey production business.

Hillary's first contact with mountains came through a skiing trip at high school but his interests soon changed to mountaineering. For years, he spent all his weekends and holidays in New Zealand's Southern Alps. In 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, he reached the summit of Mt Everest during the successful assault by the British Mount Everest Expedition. Soon after, he received a knighthood from the Queen.

In the years that followed, Hillary's interest turned to the Antarctic. In 1958, he and four companions travelled overland by tractor to become the first ever party with vehicles to reach the South Pole.

Since the 1950's, Hillary has made many return journeys to the Himalayas with combined aid and mountaineering expeditions. Past projects include the building of many mountain schools, as well as airfields, hospitals, water pipelines and bridges.

Despite his growing interest in matters of overseas aid, Hillary still found plenty of time for adventure. In 1967, he led an expedition to the Antarctic to make the first ascent of Mt Herschel 11,700 ft. Hillary is still active in conservation matters and is an International Director of the World Wildlife Fund. The United Nations Environmental Programme has also honoured him for his conservation activities.

In 1985, Hillary accompanied Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon) in a small twin-engine ski plane over the Arctic Ocean and landed at the North Pole. Hillary has received five Honorary Doctorates and his books include:

* "High Adventure"

* "East of Everest"

* "No Latitude for Error"

* "High in the Thin Cold Air"

* "Schoolhouse in the Clouds"

* "Nothing Venture Nothing Win"

* "From the Ocean to the Sky"

* "Two Generations"

In 1999, his biography "View from The Summit" was released. Also in 1999, Sir Edmund celebrated his 80th Birthday with a dinner hosted by the Governor General Sir Michael and Lady Hardie Boys at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand.

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