Kuini Apineru

Kuini Apineru

Business Development Executive, Go With Tourism; Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)
Bachelor of International Tourism Management in Hospitality

Deciding to study tourism was easy, says Kuini Apineru who completed a Bachelor of International Tourism Management at AUT.

“I love people, diversity, making a difference, making valuable connections, building great relationships and learning about new cultures. That’s what tourism is and what attracted me to study it.”

She encourages others to do the same and make the most of the opportunities the tourism industry offers.

“Give it a try and make a difference! The tourism industry is about so much more than just travel and when you get your foot in the door, you won’t regret it. There are so many opportunities and so many different roles, and the people are very supportive and willing to help you grow.”

Making a difference
Kuini knows what she is talking about. As the business development executive for Go With Tourism, a website launched by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), she is helping recruit the 40,000 young people Auckland’s tourism industry needs to prepare for major events like the America's Cup, the APEC Leaders' Summit or the Women's Rugby World Cup; all hosted in Auckland in 2021.

“I enjoy being part of the newly created Go With Tourism platform to make it simple for tourism employers to recruit the right talent. I love knowing that we’re making a difference in Auckland’s visitor economy, provide tourism as an opportunity for our Pacific and Māori communities, and support our future tourism leaders.”

The passion and people she gets to work with every day are what she enjoys most about her career.

“One of the achievements I’m most proud of is creating amazing friendships, amazing memories and awesome connections around the world. I love getting Auckland included in different media outlets, trade distribution channels, and encouraging visitors to spend more time in Auckland.”

Creating great graduates
Completing a tourism degree at AUT prepared her well for her career now, says Kuini who graduated in 2013 and received the award for the top Pacific student.

“The highlights for me were making lifelong friends, and the opportunity to connect with industry through my workplace experience and my lecturers. That was a key reason why I chose to study at AUT – I knew it provides a great platform for tourism studies and great practical papers linking theory to industry experiences.

“I also liked the flexibility of the classes and assignments, all the different events and activations in summer, and the funny moments in the foodcourt with my friends.”

She was impressed by AUT’s modern approach to university education.

“AUT celebrates diversity, innovation and fresh thinking, good engagement with industry, and an openness to adapt and change things to improve students’ journey from study to the workforce.”