Business event to support major event preparations - May 17

Hamilton’s business owners and operators can hear from national sporting leaders and tour FMG Stadium Waikato at a special networking function ahead the city’s involvement in two major events this year.

Hamilton is a host city for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series in June, with the Gallagher Chiefs set to play the visiting British & Irish Lions on 20 June at FMG Stadium Waikato. In spring, the venue will also host two historic rugby league tests – Samoa vs Tonga (4 November), and New Zealand vs Tonga (11 November) – as part of Rugby League World Cup 2017.

To give insight into what business people can expect, Hamilton City Council has partnered with Hamilton Central Business Association, Waikato Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton Waikato Tourism to host the 2017 Major Events Information Evening on 11 May at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Chad Hooker, the Council’s Major Events Director, says the city’s business community is a crucial stakeholder for the two events, and the Council wanted to discuss opportunities and work with them to make the events a success.

“Both events are expected to draw several thousand visiting fans, which presents some good opportunities for our business community,” Mr Hooker says.

“They’re exciting events for Hamilton and its communities and we want to make sure we deliver the best experience we can as a city.”

Mr Hooker says the event will include guest speakers with strong connections to both events. Nigel Cass is New Zealand Rugby’s General Manager of Relationships, Planning and Operations, and will speak on the DHL New Zealand Lions Series. Representing Rugby League World Cup 2017 will be Waikato-based Tawera Nikau, a tournament ambassador who played 19 Tests for New Zealand and more than 300 professional games. He will be joined by Sir Peter Leitch (aka The Mad Butcher), one of rugby league’s most colourful and high-profile proponents, and former manager of the New Zealand Kiwis.

The event will also include an opportunity for guests to take a “behind the scenes” tour of FMG Stadium Waikato, and gain information on the Major Events Management Act (or MEMA), which guides what businesses can do around major events. Attendees will be able to ask questions.

The 2017 Major Events Information Evening is free, but registrations are essential, via

Drinks and nibbles will be served, and the event is expected to run for about two hours, from 5.15pm.

For more on Hamilton's involvement in these two major sporting events, please visit