From government's perspective, a major event is something that:
- Generates significant immediate and long-term economic, social and cultural benefits to New Zealand.
- Attracts significant numbers of international participants and spectators.
- Has a national profile outside of the region in which it is being run.
- Generates significant international media coverage in markets of interest for tourism and business opportunities, including :
- Asia (with specific interest in China)
- United States
- Europe and the United Kingdom.
Examples of major events include the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover and the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final.
The following definitions are generally used:
- Mega Events: Primarily international participants, usually including New Zealanders. Primarily international audience. Extensive international media coverage. Significant and widespread benefits within New Zealand. e.g. APEC, Rugby World Cup.
- Major Events: Significant proportion of international participants. New Zealand and international audience. Significant international media coverage. High level of benefits to wider New Zealand. e.g. ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup, Volvo Ocean Race Stopover.
- Regional Events: Primarily New Zealand participants with some international participation. Primarily New Zealand audience. Some international media coverage. Some New Zealand-wide benefits but to a lesser degree than major events. e.g. Women’s Water Polo World Cup, New Zealand Masters Games.
- Local Events: Primarily local participants. Primarily local audience. Limited international media coverage. Benefits to the city or town. e.g. Upper Hutt Summer Carnival, Hastings Blossom Parade.