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Christchurch Wins International Association Of Geomorphologists Conference

Christchurch has won the right to host the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) Conference in 2026, only the second time this event has come to the Southern Hemisphere.

The 11th IAG conference will run for five days at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, and is expected to attract 800 to 1000 delegates from around the world, with 63 countries affiliated to the association.

ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events, Megan Crum says this prestigious academic event puts Christchurch on the world stage as an international business events destination.

“Not only do we have incredible new infrastructure capable of hosting such a large event, ease of access through our international airport, and a vibrant, compact and walkable city, we also have a location rich in diverse geography and geology,” she says.

“Our South Island region is a particular hotspot for landscape investigation, making us a geomorphology knowledge and research hub. The local university, University of Canterbury is home to one of the largest groups of geomorphology academics and their research topics will be of great interest to IAG delegates.”

The 2026 conference is being hosted by the Australia and New Zealand Geomorphology Group, the Australasian affiliate of the International Association of Geomorphologists, with support from the University of Canterbury, Tourism New Zealand, and ChristchurchNZ Business Events.

World-leading New Zealand academics championed the bid, led by Dr. Sam McColl from GNS Science, Professor Ian Fuller of Massey University, and Professor James Shulmeister, Head of School of Earth and Environment at the University of Canterbury.

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“The diversity and dynamism of Aotearoa New Zealand’s geomorphology, and the proximity of Ōtautahi Christchurch to some of the most active landscapes in the world makes it a bucket-list destination for our international science community, and the ideal location to host this distinguished quadrennial event,” Prof. Ian Fuller says.

“Hosting the conference gives us a unique opportunity to showcase our landscapes and our research first-hand. The conference will be accompanied by pre- and post-conference fieldtrips led by researchers who have an intimate knowledge of processes and landscapes around the motu (country) and neighbouring Australia,” he says.

“Our mid-conference fieldtrips will connect delegates first-hand with the world-leading geomorphology and local research on the doorstep of Christchurch - our tectonics, glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, hillslopes, rivers, and coasts.”

Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ and Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says Tourism New Zealand has been working with the Geoscience Society of New Zealand to encourage more bids for international conferences in the earth sciences sector and it’s great to achieve this win.

“New Zealand’s expertise in geoscience, together with the ‘natural laboratory’ of our landscapes and our strong event infrastructure and support, makes us an excellent destination for business events in this field. Hosting events like the IAG Conference will both showcase New Zealand research and enhance local knowledge,” he says.

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