Steffan Panoho will head Ateed's tourism arm following the departure of Jason Hill.

Panoho will start in the role for ratepayer-funded Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development next Monday.

Hill had been in the role for six years and has left to do some consulting. He will look to start his own venture next year.

His departure follows that of marketing manager Dzin Alekzander who had also been at Ateed for six years.


Chief executive of the organisation, Brett O'Riley, has also left this year.

Panoho has been manager of trade partnerships at Ateed for the past six years.

Ateed's general manager destination Steve Armitage said Panoho's understanding of tourism product development and marketing, and passion for Auckland, made him a great fit to lead work in attracting visitors to the region.

"He has developed strong connections in the tourism industry in New Zealand and abroad, particularly in Auckland's key tourism markets of China, the United States and Australia, throughout his career."

Panoho said Tamaki Makaurau Auckland was a place he was incredibly passionate about.

"I want to bring the people, culture and stories to the forefront of how we promote the region to visitors. The popularity of our region as a place to visit is growing rapidly."

He comes into the top role after a bruising fight between the Auckland council and the accommodation sector which has been levied extra rates to pay for Ateed's tourism work in Auckland, the country's main international gateway and where visitors spend most.

Latest Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment figures show in the year to September visitors spent nearly $8 billion in Auckland, 6 per cent up on the previous 12 months.