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Waikato leader wins CINZ Outstanding Contributor Award

News release
14 October 2016

CINZ Outstanding Contributor Award goes to Waikato leader

Hobbiton Movie Set’s Russell Alexander has been recognised for his dedication and commitment to business tourism with the 2016 CINZ Outstanding Contributor Award.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive Sue Sullivan presented him with the award at the association’s 40th annual conference gala dinner held at Hobbiton Movie Set last night.

“As General Manager of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Russell has shown passion and drive, developing a product that complements Claudelands. He has taken on the business events market with vengeance both here in New Zealand and in Australia, North America, Asia, China, and Europe,” she says.

“Attending major international tradeshows to support New Zealand, building an entire Hobbit Hole at MEETINGS in 2015, working with the Bureau and other partners to promote the region, Russell is always there.

“He sees it as a long game, bringing benefit for New Zealand, Hamilton, and the Waikato region. He has been able to look beyond the product he has on offer and see the wider opportunities to innovate for business groups.”

The CINZ Outstanding Achievement Award each year honours an industry person who has shown real commitment over many years to the sector, both domestically and internationally. The recipient is recognised for working collaboratively, having a strong voice, taking a holistic approach and most importantly, delivering results.

The annual CINZ Outstanding Contributor Award is sponsored by industry mentor, David Hall and Jane Hunter of Hunter’s Wines, who gifts a case of award-winning wine to the recipient.


About Russell Alexander

Russell’s family have farmed in the Matamata region since the late 1970s and he was educated in the area. In 1994 Russell set up his own Chartered Accountancy practice in Matamata and is still involved.

When Sir Peter Jackson’s scouts were looking for the unique spot to build Hobbiton, they found it on the Alexander’s farm.

Russell was the Managing Director of the family business, Rings Scenic Tours from 2002 until 2011 after being involved with negotiations from 1998 for filming of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in 2008.

Since 2011, Russell has been General Manager of Shire Tours, a joint business venture with Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films Productions Limited.

About Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)

• CINZ is the official, membership based association of New Zealand’s conference and business travel industry with more than 380 members across a broad range of sectors.

• CINZ takes a leadership role in increasing meetings, incentives, conference and events business for the benefit of its members, principal stakeholders and the New Zealand economy.

• CINZ works to actively promote the sector, providing advocacy with central government, and offering assistance, information, professional development and real business opportunities to its members.

• CINZ manages New Zealand’s only national annual trade show MEETINGS.

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