Auckland Unlimited: The preferred name for Auckland Council’s new cultural, events and economic agency

Auckland Council’s new events, cultural and economic agency will be named “Auckland Unlimited” if councillors approve it today.

The Herald understands the merger of Regional Facilities Auckland and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) has resulted in the new board recommending the name Auckland Unlimited.

Councillors are due to choose between the preferred name, Auckland Unlimited, and a second option behind closed doors at a meeting of the council-controlled organisation oversight committee at 1pm today.

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.

Last week, Nick Hill, the current chief executive for Ateed, was appointed chief executive of the new agency. Last month, Ateed chairman Mark Franklin was appointed chairman of the new board.

Staff from the two CCOs, elected representatives, stakeholders, mana whenua and an external agency have been involved in coming up with a short and simple name with the word Auckland to avoid acronyms like Ateed and RFA.

The name is meant to reflect the cultural and economic activities of the new agency, be easily understood by Aucklanders and internationally, convey “energy, vitality, action and creativity” and be a timeless name that does not date.

It is understood the name, Auckland Live – used by RFA for its events arm – was considered, but has not made the cut.

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.

The new agencywill also have a 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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