2 min read

The Auckland gay business community now has a refreshed monthly networking event after theGapnz held its first networking event at Railway Street Studios in New Market last week.





TheGAPnz was formally known as “Naked Networking” and was started by Mark Knoff-Thomas of The New Market Business Association back in 2007.

However the group has now been brought back to life and rebranded as theGAPnz.




All theGAPnz events run on the generosity of the hosts, with venues constantly changing and ranging from bars, banks and corporate board rooms.

Speaking to Eikon, Mark Knoff-Thomas said one of the main reasons for the name change was to avoid overzealous email filtering software that tended to block information from our former group due to the name ‘naked’.

“We had a great turn out,” Knoff-Thomas said following the first event on Wednesday night.”

“The speakers were interesting, we had some community notices, some drinks and nibbles and lots of great conversation.”

“There is a strong core of loyal ‘Gappers’. There is no stress or agenda, just a chance to catch up.”

“We have a vast number of GLBTI professionals in Auckland who need to reach out to others in business,” he believes,  “theGAPnz, fills that gap.”


Ellen Johansen & M G Walker's collaborative work
Ellen Johansen & M G Walker’s collaborative work


The event not only gave ‘gappers’ an opportunity to mix and mingle but also gave the hosts of the event the opportunity to showcase who they are and what they do. Knoff-Thomas said “This month’s event was our first foray into art galleries.”


Mark & heidi klum
Mark Knoff-Thomas of theGAPnz & heidi Klum


“TheGAPnz is also very lean, it’s run off a spreadsheet.” and therefore, “There are no fees to join and no fees to attend events,” Knoff-Thomas said.

“It’s purely about networking and meeting other likeminded people.”

TheGAPnz is a refreshing change to how networking is conducted, especially within the community.

There is a strong focus on business and the community topped off with friendly and supportive members/attendees.


Brendan Cuthbert, Stephen Jakicevich, Michael Richardson, Justin Connolly and Patrick Ibbertson


TheGAPnz will be held at different venues throughout Auckland every month, form more information contact  theGAPnz via their Facebook page.


Gav Hyde of the NZ Falcons with Joshua Koko and Joe Rich of NZAF


For more information about other community organisations that are supported by Eikon visit our community page.

Last Updated on Mar 25, 2015

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