Innovation and creativity set to take centre stage at Tauranga’s new DayBreak Festival

Priority One – DayBreak Festival of Innovation

Tauranga is set to host its inaugural DayBreak Festival of Innovation throughout March, marking a significant milestone in the city’s journey towards becoming Aotearoa New Zealand’s destination for creativity, inspiration and collaboration.

DayBreak is a reimagination of the Groundswell Festival, led by Priority One and involving more than 30 local partners and sponsors to design and deliver the Festival programme. Set in the heart of Tauranga’s CBD, DayBreak will celebrate and inspire innovators and creators from across a myriad of sectors whilst activating the city centre.

Shane Stuart, Innovation Manager at Priority One, says that a key feature driving highly innovative cities and regions is the flow of knowledge that happens through people connecting, moving and building relationships and networks.

DayBreak is all about finding pathways for these kinds of knowledge flows, in a manner that works for our region.

The festival comprises three events, including a two-day innovation summit, a celebration evening and a range of free community events based in and around Tauranga’s CBD throughout the month of March.

“The innovation summit is being held 7-8 March, with 22 sessions taking place across 18 Tauranga CBD locations and more than 30 guest speakers talking about a diverse range of original and innovative topics.”

Attendees can expect a mix of plenary sessions, interactive workshops, field trips and endless networking opportunities.

“The innovation summit offers individuals and teams amazing value and high-quality professional development opportunities. The beauty is that you can select the sessions that interest you and your team the most,” says Mr Stuart.

Hayley Nelson, General Manager at Craigs Investment Partners, says they are excited to be hosting several sessions during DayBreak Summit.

“Fostering innovation and finding meaningful ways to collaborate is important to our city. We’ve gone through a lot of growth and it’s not stopping anytime soon, so innovation will be key in the years to come.

“We are really looking forward to hosting sessions throughout the DayBreak Summit in the Innovation and Marketing section, and a breakout session on Sustainability,” says Ms Nelson. 

The DayBreak Summit concludes with a celebration evening on March 8th.

“It’s an opportunity to come together after the summit and celebrate innovation and creativity in a surprising, multi-sensory and interactive way. Featuring music by Laughton Kora, and art by Isaac Weston combined with culinary delights, robots and more.

Salina Galvan Photography

“The DayBreak celebration is a great way to wrap up the festival and connect with Tauranga’s business, innovation and creative communities,” says Mr Stuart.

The community events are designed so that anyone in Tauranga can get involved and include fascinating sessions on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Marine Science, Robotics, Entrepreneurship, and Design Thinking, all based in and around Tauranga’s CBD.

“They’re mostly free and provide a fun opportunity for people of all ages to learn, be inspired and interact with some of the region’s best scientists, investors and entrepreneurs,” says Mr Stuart.

Mike Sievwright, CEO of Trimax Mowing Systems, says that they’re proud to be sponsoring an event that celebrates and fosters innovation in Tauranga.

“It’s all about showcasing opportunities and igniting inspiration for the people working here, and also to the youth in the area. It’s so important that we can grow people through education, and then have those opportunities in the workforce too so they can stay in the Bay of Plenty.

“The networking opportunities will also be fantastic; I have no doubt everyone in the room will learn something from each other,” says Mr Sievwright

Mr Stuart says this is just the beginning for DayBreak.

“The future of DayBreak is exciting; we expect it to be a permanent event in Tauranga’s calendar, with the potential to get bigger and better each year with opportunities to showcase innovation and creativity across multiple sectors.

“We’re delighted that so many local businesses have come on board, including Tauranga City Council. Tauranga Western Bay of Plenty Community Event Fund, TechStep, Aurecon, Craigs Investment Partners, Lawvu, Sharp Tudhope Lawyers, Trimax Mowing Systems, Zespri and many others!”

For more information and to secure tickets, visit