Whanganui will become the focus of New Zealand politics this time next year with the city chosen to host the 2019 Labour Party conference.

The city headed off Rotorua as the final two made their pitch at this year's conference which wrapped up in Dunedin on Sunday.

About 800-900 delegates will converge on Whanganui in early November in what Whanganui mayor and Labour Party member Hamish McDouall says could be the biggest conference Whanganui has ever hosted.

"It's certainly up there. Obviously the Masters Games is the biggest event we host but that's spread over 10 days."


McDouall travelled to Dunedin as mayor to support Whanganui's bid which was put forward by the Whanganui local electorate committee.

Whanganui and Partners helped write the original bid with Whanganui and Rotorua invited to present at the weekend's conference. McDouall, Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe and local Labour party spokesman Tim Easton did the bidding.

"I think the fact that we are authentic and heartland New Zealand really helped," McDouall said.

"It's just amazing. It will be a huge economic benefit to accommodation places and cafes and restaurants."

The economic benefit has been estimated at about $500,000.

"And we shouldn't underestimate the power of having a bunch of people from the media really focusing on Whanganui."

Hamish McDouall spoke in support of Whanganui's bid.
Hamish McDouall spoke in support of Whanganui's bid.

The Labour Party conference follows Whanganui hosting the Clubs New Zealand conference in March and while it will likely be based at the War Memorial Centre, events will be spread across the city's facilities.

Rurawhe was excited to host his party on his patch and hailed Whanganui's pitch which was around its unique attractions and its connection to provincial New Zealand.


"I spoke as well but I think our mayor did a particularly good job of securing it," he said.

"It's the first time Whanganui will host it so we are way overdue."

Rurawhe said the planning started now and Te Tai Hauāuru would be supporting the local Whanganui members in doing so.

"We'll be doing a lot of work to put a really good plan together for the conference. I've been involved in organising conferences before and there's a lot that goes into them."

Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe says the conference will put the political focus on Whanganui.
Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe says the conference will put the political focus on Whanganui.

He said it would also be a boost for the party locally with the entire caucus in Whanganui just a year out from the 2020 election.

Easton said Whanganui and Partners had calculated the conference would provide an estimated $500,000 economic boost to Whanganui.

"It's a massive vote of confidence in Whanganui which is really cool," he said.