Registrations for Congress 2015 are open!

Greetings from the Congress 2015 planning team in New Zealand, where autumn suddenly arrived in the past week – snow, wind, hail, rain, thunder and lightning! Registrations opened on Sunday, 19 April at 10.30am New Zealand time, for this marvellous opportunity to visit the Southern Hemisphere. We have lined up a wide-ranging selection of speakers, all captains of the New Zealand agricultural and agribusiness world, as well as some of the top farms and agribusinesses around Hamilton to visit.

The pre and post congress tours feature visits to farms, research centres, tourist activities and plenty of good food and excellent wines:www.congress2015.co.nz/tours.

All of the Congress 2015 activities and the tours are designed to introduce you to New Zealand’s unique farming systems, some of the most productive and innovative in the world. Hand-in-hand with this will be the chance to examine the exciting work being done by our scientists and agribusinesses in the quest to develop new products for our international markets and to increase on-farm productivity at a time when there is pressure for more output while maintaining strict environmental standards.

To register, you go to the Congress 2015 website, www.congress2015.co.nz where you will find a link to Regonline.

There will be more details on the programme, pre and post congress tours, along with information on some of the speakers and the farms you can visit on the Congress 2015 website.  There are five streams of tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday –  dairy, red meat, science and innovation, horticulture/viticulture and general. You need to select what you want to do each afternoon, and pick a second choice in case your preferred option is full.

Stay connected – we have now opened a twitter account this week – @IFAJ2015NZ. And our facebook is NZ Congress 2015.

Costs
We had been hoping to hear from a couple more sponsors to enable us to reduce the costs for registrations.  However, they are a bit slow to make decisions. The Regonline is in two separate sections, accommodation and registration.

Accommodation
There are three different hotels, all with different costs.  The Congress is being held in the Novotel, where there is plenty of accommodation  while Ibis is 25 metres away, and the Sudima is about four minutes’ walk away. There are different rates at the three hotels, with the Sudima the cheapest, particularly for a twin share.

Registration
There are a limited number of Early Bird Registrations, at a cost of $1075 New Zealand dollars.  This covers normal delegates expenses of all meals (including four congress dinners), buses, congress packs etc  This does not include accommodation. The Full Registration cost is $1150 New Zealand dollars. This covers normal delegates expenses of all meals (including four congress dinners), buses, congress packs etc. This does not include accommodation.

Optional extras
*    You will be able to request a shuttle to pick you up from Auckland International Airport to take you to Hamilton. It is about a 90 minute drive from the airport to the hotels. There is a charge of $50 (one way) for the shuttle, which you will need to book on Regonline.  If you want to rent a car, there are lots of rental companies at the airport, which you will need to book separately. There will be more information about that later.
*    Delegates can purchase a polar fleece jacket.  Details will be on the website.

Exchange rates
Remember that exchange rates fluctuate considerably from day to day. On Friday afternoon, 17 April, the cost of registration in different currencies was: US 879.00 – UK 588.00 – Euro 817.00 – Australia 1131. By Sunday morning New Zealand time, they may have changed, so it pays to check, if you want up to date information.

New Zealand time
Also remember that New Zealand is the first country in the world to see the sun, ahead of all other countries, so there are times of the New Zealand night when you may not get replies to emails.

Cairns Pre Congress Tour
This tour also went live on at 10.30 am Sunday morning, New Zealand time. More information on the Pre Congress Tour can be found at www.acaj.org.au/cairns.

Queries
We have set up three email addresses for different queries:
Registrations: reg@congress2015.co.nz
Tours: tours@congress2015.co.nz
General enquiries: info@congress2015.co.nz

Looking forward to seeing many of you down here in Hamilton in October!

Sue Miller, National Coordinator Congress 2015

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