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Investment applications



What qualifies as a major event?

From government's perspective, a major event is something that:

  • Generates significant economic, social and cultural benefits to New Zealand.
  • Attracts international participants and spectators.
  • Has a national profile outside of the region in which it is being held.
  • Generates significant international media coverage in markets of interest for tourism and business opportunities, including: 
    • Australia
    • Asia (with specific interest in China)
    • United States
    • Europe and the United Kingdom

Examples of Major Events include the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, ITU Triathlon World Championships Grand Final 2012 and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.


What type of events are supported?

The Major Events Development Fund invests in most event types, including arts, sports and cultural events. An exception to this is business events, which are supported through the Conference Assistance Programme, administered by Tourism New Zealand. This includes conventions, conferences, trade shows, exhibitions and incentives.

Preferential consideration will be given to events that provide a balance to the existing portfolio of government-supported events. Considerations for this include:

  • The purpose of funding (attract, grow and retain); and
  • The types of benefits provided by the event.
  • The existing mix of event type (art, culture, sport, etc);
  • The regional spread throughout New Zealand;

Funding will also be considered for bids to host international events in New Zealand, and for feasibility studies.


Who can apply?

Anyone organising an event in New Zealand that fits the Goverment's definition of a major event can submit a stage one application. Stage two applications are by invitation only.


How much money can I ask for?

There is no limit on the amount you can apply for. However, applicants should take into account that the median level of government investment since 2005 has been $211,000 and the average level of government investment since 2005 has been $460,500.



How do I make an application?

Each funding round has two stages. You first complete and submit a Stage One Application Form. This is assessed against the criteria and the other applications submitted in the application round. Successful applications at stage one are invited to submit a more detailed, stage two application.

The application process is fully described here.


When should I apply?

We encourage applications well in advance of the event (ideally two years or more) to ensure there is enough time for the additional benefits made possible by government investment to be realised.

There are three annual application deadlines. View the current dates.


How long does it take before I know whether my application is successful?

As the decision calendar varies, you will be advised of the approximate timeframe when you submit your stage one application. As a guide, if applicants progress to stage two the full process up to and including the decision takes approximately seven months. Decisions at stage one usually take 7-9 weeks from the application deadline.


Who decides?

The Major Events Ministers Group makes the funding decisions. The Ministers Group is made up of Ministers of:

  • Economic Development (Chair)
  • Tourism
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Sport and Recreation


The Major Events Ministers Group is advised by the Major Events Investment Panel a group of that comprises of two private sector members (including an independent chair) and Chief Executives from:

  • Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Tourism New Zealand
  • Sport New Zealand.


If my application is unsuccessful can I re-apply?

Yes. Re-applications are accepted but they must show there has been additional work done to develop the earlier application.


How much is in the fund?

The fund’s annual appropriation is $10m, much of which is committed several years in advance.


How many events receive funding each year?

The number depends on the amount of funding requested and the number of applications which meet the criteria. It is a contestable fund, so funding goes to those organisations which best meet the criteria and show a clear rationale for government investment.


Last updated 4 April 2017