Photo: furconz.org.nz
FurCoNZ is New Zealand’s largest furry convention held every summer. It used to take place in December (the first month of summer in the Southern Hemisphere), but has since been moved to February. For a certain period of time it was organized on “back-to-back” weekends with Melbourne’s MiDFur so that overseas attendees could participate in both events during the same intercontinental trip.

The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters in animation, comics, films, television shows and other modern pop culture works. Although the tradition of endowing animals with human personalities and characteristics isn’t new – take fairy tales, for example – the furry fandom in its modern form emerged in the early 1980s at science fiction conventions. The first standalone furry convention was held in the United States in 1989.

The first furmeets (gatherings of the local furry community) in New Zealand were organized in the early 2000s. They were hosted at private residences and didn’t draw many visitors. When the attendance began to grow, a group of enthusiasts decided to organize a full-fledged convention with an official program. The first official edition of FurCoNZ was held in 2007 at the Kiwianis Lodge in Huia, West Auckland. It attracted around 40 attendees.

FurCoNZ has been held every year since then. The only exception was the year 2015 when the convention was canceled because the organizer had to step down for personal reasons, and no one else stepped in. The convention is typically held over the Waitangi weekend (Waitangi Day is a public holiday in New Zealand celebrated on February 6).

Unlike the majority of furry conventions, FurCoNZ isn’t held at a hotel. It’s an outdoor camping event similar to Camp Feral! (Ontario, Canada) or Oklacon (Oklahoma, USA). FurCoNZ has a more relaxed and informal atmosphere than hotel-based conventions, while retaining a convention-like structure with programmed events. The convention’s program includes workshops and seminars, panel discussions, artists alley, special events and contests for fursuiters, film screenings, gaming tournaments, outdoor games, etc.

In 2024, FurCoNZ was split into two events: FurCoNZ Camp in May and FurCoNZ Hotel in November.


Photo: FurCoNZ.org.nz



Related Articles