Auckland Council’s new cultural and economic agency named Auckland Unlimited

Auckland Council’s new events, cultural and economic agency will be named Auckland Unlimited.

Mayor Phil Goff says the name conveys a sense of the city’s huge and unending potential and suits an organisation whose role is to promote Auckland as a great place to visit, study and invest in.

Auckland councillors decided on the name today for the new council-controlled organisation created from the merger of Regional Facilities Auckland and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed).

The merger of the two CCOs was the major recommendation of an independent review into the council’s five CCOs, and approved by the governing body on August 27. The merger is expected to lead to savings of $67 million over 10 years.

Goff said the new CCO brings together the functions of economic development, tourism, cultural and sporting facilities.

Ateed has been the city’s tourism arm, responsible for big events and cultural festivals, like the V8 Supercars, Lantern Festival, Diwali and Pasifika, and economic development.

RFA has operated the city’s major event venues like the Aotea Centre, Civic Theatre, Mt Smart and Western Springs. It also runs the Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Zoo, andgives money to Auckland Museum, Motat, Stardome and the Maritime Museum.

Nick Hill, the Ateed chief executive who has been appointed chief executive of Auckland Unlimited, said significant research and engagement went into the developing the name.

“Auckland Unlimited is an aspirational name our teams across RFA and Ateed can be proud of; and one that we hope will also resonate with our community as we work to deliver great outcomes for Auckland,” said Hill.

Mike Lee, an associate professor or marketing at Auckland University, preferred the “sweet and snappy two letter brand name ” to the complicated Ateed and RFA acronyms.

“It encompasses the idea that Auckland is a diverse place and has unlimited potential,” he said.

Lee said the name reminded him of the New Zealand Pure brand developed by Tourism New Zealand.

“They are promoting Auckland as an experience rather than tangible concrete services, such as Watercare and Auckland Transport, and going for more of that experiencing, marketing vibe,” he said.

Goff said with the recent appointment of Hill as chief executive and a new name, Auckland Unlimited is on track to be fully operational by December.

The new agencywill also have te reo Māori name, which is on a slightly longer timeframe.

How the English and te reo Māori names will be used has still to be decided.

The new names will not replace Auckland’s existing destination brand – the frayed Auckland “A”.

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