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    Symposium Cancelled

    Due to COVID-19 and the continued uncertainty around Alert Levels, unfortunately Dilworth and NZOIA have jointly agreed to cancel this year’s Symposium. We also feel that being so close to Auckland, it wouldn’t be morally responsible to host a large event in these uncertain times. It is not a decision NZOIA has taken lightly and we did try our upmost to get it across the line. Some refresher workshops will continue to run independent of the Symposium and those on the workshops have been contacted. All attendees will receive a full refund or credit. Tertiary Scholarship students will have the option of joining the 2021 Symposium.

    Watch this space for 2021 venue and dates!

    Key Dates

    Registration Open 15 February 2020                 Early Bird Registration Closes 30 June 2020

    Registration Closes 1 August 2020

    New Assessor Training 30 September 2020       Assessor Conference 1 October 2020

    Symposium 1 - 4 October 2020


    Registrations are now closed. 

    Due to COVID-19, NZOIA will make a final decision on whether the Symposium goes ahead or not on the 14 September after the announcement from the Government. We can operate the Symposium at the current Alert level 1. In the meantime our planning is still full steam ahead with the hope we get the drop we need.



    The NZOIA National Training Symposium has run successfully since 2012 and usually attracts between 120 – 150 people.  It aims to encourage the continual professional development of our ‘on-the-ground’ leaders, instructors and guides and has a practical focus. The Symposium combines Refresher Workshops to meet instructor/guide revalidation requirements and a smorgasbord of interesting, stimulating and challenging Professional Development Workshops. It is a forum to network, upskill, train and revalidate NZOIA qualifications. People come from far and wide to attend the Symposium, including overseas.

    The Symposium is usually held at a suitable date in September or October each year.  It starts on a Thursday afternoon and runs through to midday Sunday.  The Symposium is preceded by the Assessor Training on the Wednesday for new assessors, and the Assessors Conference all day Thursday. The annual Excellence Awards take place on the Saturday night.

    The location of the Symposium usually alternates between the North Island and South Island and is hosted by an outdoor centre or organisation. This helps NZOIA keep the costs down, and keeps the fee low for attendees.  


    The 2020 Symposium will be hosted by Dilworth, one hour south of Auckland!

    500 Lyons Road, Mangatawhiri.

    Dilworth logo


    Included in the Symposium Registration fee are three nights accommodation, meals from Thursday dinner to lunch on Sunday, Refresher Workshops (usually $195 each), Professional Development Workshops and the awards dinner function on Saturday night.

     Member - Earlybird*         $485   
     Member - Full Price  $535 
     Non Member  $615 
     Late Registration Fee   $50

    * Earlybird Rate applies to NZOIA Members only who have completed all registration documentation AND payment by the 30 June 2020. If either is incomplete as at the 30 June 2020, you will be required to pay the full price.

    Your registration fees do not cover the full cost of the event, NZOIA absorbs over 40% of the cost for the Symposium. With the thanks to host venues and funding, we try hard to keep the registration fee down so it is affordable for you to attend.

    The accommodation is bunkroom style beds or camping, with shared bathroom facilities. (To help keep costs down we will not be employing cleaners - you will need to leave the place how you found it). The registration fee will be the same regardless of if you camp or choose to have a bed.


    Refund Policy

    Your registration fees do not cover the full cost of the event, NZOIA absorbs over 40% of the cost for the Symposium.

    When a participant withdraws:

    Before the event closing date (1st August 2020): NZOIA will deduct a $50 administration fee, the balance can then be refunded or transferred to another event.

    After the closing date: The fee is NON-REFUNDABLE. It is transferable only under exceptional circumstances, less the applicable cancellation fee as outlined below:

    Symposium fee is transferable the next two Symposiums only, less a $100 cancellation fee under the following circumstances:

    - Bereavement of an immediate family member (spouse/partner, parent, child, sibling, in-law, grandparent or grandchild)

    - Medical Emergency/accident requiring surgery or hospitalisation for the applicant or the applicant’s spouse/partner or child.

    - Serious injury/medical event that prevents participation in the course (e.g. fracture, serious sprain, serious head injury/concussion).

    Medical certificates/other proof will be required.


    Fees for missed meals / late arrivals / early departures will not be refunded.

    If you have booked a shuttle and the shuttle is cancelled by us you will get a full refund of your shuttle fee. If you cancel it before the 1st August 2020 we will also refund you the shuttle fee. After the closing date there will be no refund.

    2020 NZOIA Tertiary Award

    This award is aimed at students who have a passion for outdoor instruction and show great potential for further involvement in the industry beyond their studies. 

    Each outdoor tertiary programme provider (who has an MOU with NZOIA) will make their own judgment as to who their successful student is and submit to NZOIA who their successful student before 30 June 2020. Successful students will receive complimentary registration to the 2020 NZOIA National Training Symposium (one per Tertiary provider). Travel not included. 

    Criteria and eligibility information will be sent to tutors directly in May.


    Symposium Diversity Scholarship

    The NZOIA Symposium is an invaluable opportunity for the outdoor instruction and leadership community to come together to collaborate and expand its collective knowledge and technique. In order to continue to be relevant and remain groundbreaking the Symposium needs representation from a broad selection of people and we recognise that there are barriers that impede this such as the costs involved.

    It is exciting to be able to offer in 2020 one scholarship that covers the full registration fee of the Symposium and two scholarships that cover 50% of the fee.

    These scholarships have been kindly donated by an NZOIA member who was keen to see continued a diverse representation at the Symposium.


    Eligibility Criteria:

    - Be a current member of NZOIA

    - Be employed in the outdoor industry

    - Financial assistance needed to be able to attend

    And must meet at least one of the following diversity criteria:

    - Be Female; and/or

    - Be Maori, Pacific Islander or Asian.


    To apply for the scholarship, submit a letter of application outlining your eligibility and why you would like to attend the Symposium. Please also include a letter of endorsement from another NZOIA member.

    Post the Symposium, applicants are required to write a letter to NZOIA outlining what they got out of the Symposium and how they will apply their learning in the workplace.


    Applications must be emailed to no later than 30 June 2020. Applicants will be informed by the 15 July 2020 of the outcome.

    Download criteria here


    Getting There

    If you are interested in Carpooling with others from your area to Dilworth and return, please tick the applicable box on the Registration form.  In August we will send out an email list to those in your area. It will be up to you to contact others in the group and sort it out between yourselves.

    The closest airport to Dilworth is Auckland Airport - 45 mins away. We will be running shuttles from Auckland airport.

    Shuttles to Dilworth
    There will be an Auckland Airport pick up and drop off shuttle arranged on the Wednesday and Thursday of the Symposium, returning Sunday. To use the shuttles you will need to pre-book, this is on your registration form. Shuttles are $30 each way. The journey takes approx 45 mins to an hour depending on traffic.

    You will need to meet the shuttle ready for departure at the time given. Please note, the Wednesday evening Assessors shuttle will not make it in time for dinner. You are responsible for supplying your own meal on this night.

    If you are delayed you must notify your shuttle driver asap (details will be given nearer the time).

    If there are not enough people on the shuttle, it will be cancelled and you will be refunded.

    Auckland Airport Shuttle times:
    Wednesday 6:30pm (Time TBC) - Auckland Airport to Dilworth (For Assessors Only. We will consider an earlier shuttle dependent on flight times)
    Thursday 3:00pm (Time TBC) - Auckland Airport to Dilworth
    Sunday 12:30pm - Dilworth to Auckland Airport (Arrives approx. 1:30pm)

    The Programme

    The Symposium programme is extremely varied as we try to cater for a range of interests. Professional Development Workshops and Refresher Workshops will run concurrently at the Symposium. Refresher workshops are a full day (8am-5pm generally) and Professional Development Workshops vary from a couple of hours to a full day. If you are at a Refresher workshop you will not be able to attend a Professional Development workshop on the same day. Attendees will be sent a link to sign up to PD workshops on Monday 31 August. 

    Symposium Programme 2020

    Symposium Timeline 2020


    Professional Development Workshops

    Professional Development Workshops run alongside Refresher Workshops at the Symposium. If you are interested in running a Professional Development Workshop at the 2021 Symposium, please click here for more information or email

    Check out the programme above to see what's been offered in the past.

    Refresher Workshops

    To attend a Refresher Workshop you will need to apply SEPARATELY from your Symposium Registration Form. To apply, either click on the workshop below, or go to the Refresher Course Calendar. Select 'Already Paid' when it comes to payment, as the fee for these workshops is included in your Symposium registration (bonus!)

    Symposium Refresher Workshops 2020 

    Friday 2 October 2020:

    Bush Walking Leader | Bush 1 | Cave 1 & Cave 2 | Kayak FlatwaterKayak Leader | Kayak 2 & Kayak 2 - CIII | Rock 1 | Rock 1 & Sport Climbing Endorsement & Sport Climbing Instructor | Rock 2

    Saturday 3 October 2020:

    Abseil Leader (am) | Rock Climbing Leader (pm) | Bush 1 | Bush 2 | Canoe 1 | Canyon 1 & Canyon 2 | Kayak 1 | Rock 1Rock 1 & Sport Climbing Endorsement | Sea Kayak LeaderSea Kayak GuideSea Kayak 1 & Sea Kayak 2.

    Book now to secure your place on the Refresher Workshop by completing your application and paying the Symposium registration fee.  Members who aren’t attending the Symposium can also book on these workshops, however priority of place will be given to the Symposium attendees.  Spaces on these workshops are always tight, so make sure you get in early.

    Symposium Host Venue - Expression of Interest

    NZOIA Symposium LOGO BANNER new bw

    Picture Banner Symposium

    Do you want to host the next Symposium?!

    We are looking for an outdoor organisation that is keen to host the 2021 Symposium in the South Island.


    Expression of interest

    If your organisation is in the South Island and are interested in hosting the Symposium, please put in an expression of interest to NZOIA by 31 March 2020 for the 2021 Symposium. Please click on the link below and fill in the form and submit it to the NZOIA Symposium Coordinator – 

    If you have trouble opening or saving, please email us and we will send you a hard copy. Please contact Sonya Sutherland if you have any further questions: 027 5390509 or on the email above.

    Thank you for your interest and support!


    Benefits for hosting

    Hosting the Symposium is a great opportunity to show case your centre to others in the industry. Two of your staff will be able to attend the Symposium free of charge, but will be required to assist in the running of the Symposium. We can also provide 50% off for up to 8 of your staff to attend. Hosting could be a good chance to recruit new staff! It’s also a great way to support the outdoor industry and professional development of those working in the sector.




    To host the Symposium, your venue needs to be within 1 ½ hours travel to at least six of the nine NZOIA disciplines:

    Cave, Canoe, Canyon, Kayak (White Water), Sea Kayak, Alpine, Bush, Mountain bike and Rock.

    The venue needs to be able to accommodate a minimum of 130 people, preferable onsite, with a combination of dormitory beds (ideally 70+ beds) and camping options, and ablutions available. Ideally, you have catering available for this number, or a commercial kitchen and dining area that can be used. The dining area/hall must be able to seat this number. NZOIA will contribute towards catering and accommodation, to cover costs incurred.

    We also require access to two-three meeting rooms/spaces for training workshops, separate to the main dining area/hall that can fit 20 – 30 people. Ideally these would have access to WIFI, but if you have good cell phone coverage/service this won’t be an issue. Preferably, your organisation will have vehicles and outdoor equipment available for use.


    The host venue is also responsible for planning and running a welcome to officially open the Symposium.

    A minimum of two staff/people from your organisation are required to be on hand throughout the Symposium, to assist the NZOIA staff with the smooth running of the event. One of these people will take on the Duty Manager role and be in charge of locking up, communications, the bar and updating the weather board. It is great if we have extras on hand to chip in if needed. Depending on your location, we will also require assistance with airport pickups and drop offs.



    Click here to fill in the Host Venue - Expression of Interest Form 

    (Note: Save to file before filling in!)

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