Air New Zealand pulls out of Wine Awards

Air New Zealand (Photo: Alan Gaskin)

Air New Zealand has ended its sponsorship of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards after supporting it for 31 years. Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer, Bruce Parton, explained,

“We have supported this programme over three decades and have seen it become a well-established event on the annual wine calendar and I look forward to seeing it continue for decades to come.

We’re very much committed to showcasing the best of New Zealand wine and believe the best way to do this moving forward is to refocus our resources into the Fine Wines of New Zealand and in the work we do under our MoU with New Zealand Winegrowers to grow wine tourism and promote Kiwi wines in offshore markets.

We will invest $1 million per year in showcasing the best of New Zealand wine to the world, bringing international media to New Zealand to experience our winegrowing regions, and work with New Zealand Winegrowers and wineries to generate value for the wider industry.”

NZ Winegrowers chief executive officer, Philip Gregan, said that they would have been happy to extend Air New Zealand’s sponsorship, but their departure provides an opportunity for change. Although they had been approached by a couple of potential new sponsors, the NZ Winegrowers’ board hadn’t had a chance to meet and discuss what possible directions they might take.

“We have a broader relationship with Air New Zealand than just the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and will continue to work with them in areas such as the development of offshore markets and wine tourism.”

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