Major Events Fund supports ‘The Pioneer’
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF) will invest up to $1.2 million over three years in a new South Island-based mountain bike stage race called The Pioneer.
The inaugural Pioneer event will take place in the Southern Alps at the end of January 2016.
“The Pioneer will be one of the world’s most iconic mountain bike stage races. The week-long endurance event will cover more than 560 kilometres from Christchurch to Queenstown and will profile some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes,” says Mr Joyce.
“This event is consistent with the Government’s strategy of developing and attracting major events that will deliver economic results and showcase New Zealand internationally.”
Participants will compete in two-person teams, riding between three to seven hours a day on a mixture of unsealed roads, farm tracks, cycle trails and a world-class single track. There will also be two mass participation events in Christchurch and Queenstown for recreational riders and families.
“Event organisers are expecting more than 1000 enthusiastic participants and support crew to take on The Pioneer challenge. This will provide a range of opportunities for local businesses, international investment and spectator engagement,” says Mr Joyce.
The Government invests, through the MEDF, in major events that seek to generate significant immediate and long-term benefits to New Zealand, and lift and maintain New Zealand’s international profile.
Through the MEDF, $500,000 has been made available for the 2016 event, $400,000 for the 2017 event and $300,000 for the 2018 event.
We are committed to working with New Zealand's major events sector to help attract and grow high-quality major events around the country that deliver economic, social and cultural benefits and promote New Zealand to the world," Mr Joyce says.