FurCoNZ is the annual gathering for the New Zealand Furry community, typically held in summer every year. Unlike most foreign Furry Conventions, FurCoNZ is not hosted in a hotel. Instead it is run as a camp, much like Camp Feral! or Oklacon. This keeps FurCoNZ simple and more informal, while retaining the link to the New Zealand outdoors.
While FurCoNZ is for the Furry community, we are most welcoming of members from other communities, such as Bronies/Pegasisters, Otherkin, or any one else who may just be curious.
The Furry Community initially grew out of the Science Fiction and Fantasy fandoms.
In very broad terms, Furries are fans of anthropomorphism and things having to do with creatures and animals.
There are a vast array of subject areas that Furries are interested in:
- Mythology (eg. totem spirits and animism)
- Science (eg. bioengineering and veterinary sciences);
- Literature (eg. Poetry and storytelling)
- Fine arts (eg. Drawing, painting, sculpture and costume making);
- Performing arts (eg. Music, puppetry and fursuit performance);
- Mass Media (eg. Films, cartoons and televison shows);
- and the list goes on...
Furries themselves have a wide variety of ages, races and cultures, and have a diverse range of backgrounds, from students to highly qualified industry professionals (Doctors, lawyers, academics and even rocket scientists).
Just as there is a huge range of people who make up the Furry Community, they way they choose to identify with the fandom is equally varied. Some are simply happy sit with friends and watch Furry cartoons and anime. Some will produce anthropomorphic art of their favourite characters. Others will make and wear fursuits of their of their Furry persona.
It is impossible to give a single definition of the term 'Furry'. Whatisfurry.org offers a much better explanation than can be offered here.
History of FurCoNZ
While there have been unofficial gatherings prior to this, these were the first to be called FurCoNZ and to be run on an annual basis.
2002 FurCoNZ started as a gathering hosted by PuppyDog in his flat in Panmure, Auckland. This was similar to a easterCon that same year, but was the first to call itself FurCoNZ.
2003 Nimble hosted the second FurCoNZ at his parents' house in Mission Bay, Auckland.
2004 The first FurCoNZ outside of Auckland was hosted by Whitelock and Aeothen in Dunedin. This event was held in late November. Another event, HamilCon, took place in January 2005 for furs who couldn't make it to the Dunedin FurCoNZ.
2005 The fourth FurCoNZ was hosted by Foy at his parent's holiday house in Taupo. Attendance was reported to be around 18.
2006 Southpaw hosted the fifth FurCoNZ, at his house in Wairakei. Attendance was reported to be just over 30.
At this point, it became clear that attendances were far too large for a private residence and they were moved to camps and lodge sites. This also marked a shift to FurCoNZ being a paid event, initially just to cover hire of the sites, but later to include catering.
2007 Lex Cypher hosted the sixth FurCoNZ at the Kiwianis Lodge in Huia, West Auckland. There were around 40 attendees.
2008 DarthMeow hosted the seventh FurCoNZ at Camp Rangi Woods near Palmerston North. There were around 32 attendees.
2009 Staff headed by Lyctiger hosted the eighth FurCoNZ at Kokako Lodge, Hunua, South Auckland. This was the first FurCoNZ to include full catering, and move to a more convention-like structure with programmed events, conbadges and conbooks. Attendance was 58.
2010 The ninth FurCoNZ returned to Kokako Lodge, lead again by Lyctiger, expanding on the previous event with an impromptu raft building event, and a Singstar tournament. Attendance was 66.
2011 Staff, lead by Lyctiger, hosted the tenth FurCoNZ. This was the last time FurCoNZ was at Kokako Lodge, as the site had reached comfortable limits for attendance. Attendance was 50.
2012 The eleventh FurCoNZ returned to Kiwianis Lodge, the site of FurCoNZ in 2007, with a staff lead by Lyctiger and DarthMeow. Attendance was 50.
2014 The twelfth FurCoNZ ventured down to the Wellington Region, to the Brookfield Outdoor Education Centre. The staff was lead by Nimble and Kendra. Attendance was 50. This FurCoNZ was also held in February rather than the usual November/December time frame.
2016 The thirteenth FurCoNZ returned to the Wellington Region, to the Brookfield Outdoor Education Centre. The staff was lead by Nimble and Kendra. Attendance was 80, and was a sold out event. , Over a quarter of the attendees participated in the Fursuit Parade, with 24 fursuits recorded.
2017 MiCamp Lake Taupo - theme was "Pirates of Lake Taupo." This is the first con where staff did not have to cater the event and catering was done by MiCamp. Staff was led by Nimble and Kendra. Attendance was 90, and was nearly sold out. Sponsors tickets were completely sold out, as was Premium Accommodation.