Fund Criteria

The purpose of the Domestic Events Fund is support the events sector and the wider industry, for that reason a set of clear criteria for eligibility has been developed.

Please note that applications to the Domestic Events Fund are now closed.

Who can apply

The Fund is only open to recurring events that are socially, culturally, or economically significant for New Zealand, and have exhausted market-based solutions, and without support, would not be able to re-start or need to be significantly re-scaled


events which will assist the market to retain sector-critical event organisers and suppliers for the long-term viability of the industry.


Our policy is to invest in recurring events because these events are most likely to have a flow on effects to the wider economy. Established and recurring events have existing supplier relationships, demonstrated ability to deliver, and a record of contributing as an integral part of the events industry. The ongoing nature of these events gives suppliers more confidence in their long term business pipeline.

Private sector event entities that deliver community, regional or public events (including sports, arts, cultural, business) can apply to the Domestic Events Fund. Suppliers to the event sector cannot apply. However, Events will typically be required to pay a certain percentage of funding as up-front payments to key suppliers. This will ensure funding reaches the supply chain quickly. For the purpose of the Domestic Events Fund, a venue is considered a supplier.

Event organisers may apply for any year of the event, but there is an expectation that the event would be held before the end of 2021.

Scale thresholds

Scale thresholds have not been set for the fund.  However, the fund has been established to support events that are socially, culturally, or economically significant for a region and by extension New Zealand or those that support key sector-critical event organisers and suppliers within a region.  Generally, these types of events are of a larger scale than community or local events (e.g. local carnivals or parades).


  • Established recurring events of all types (community, regional, public events – sports, arts, cultural, business) that are delivered by the private sector. DEF funding can be used to support Council or CCO events delivered by private entities but not events for which production sits in-house. 
  • Events that have not received direct investment from other government departments for COVID-19 recovery. This excludes:
    • any broad based business support like the wage subsidy; and
    • any government investment or support provided to support event delivery (separate to COVID-19 recovery)
  • Events must not be receiving Major Events Fund or Creative and Cultural Events Incubator investment support.
  • Events that may previously have been deemed internationally significant under Government definitions due to international attendance that are scaling to a domestic level are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must ensure that funding:
    • Stays onshore. Events run by international companies with New Zealand based offices may apply but funding cannot be channelled offshore. If your event is required to pay offshore rights fees, or other offshore payments your event is still eligible, but the funding received through the DEF must stay onshore.
    • Is not be used to replace local government investment. In instances where local government reduces investment in an event due to reductions in event investment availability due to COVID-19 implications, DEF funding can not be used to fill this gap.  It can, however, be used to close commercial or Trust funding gaps.


  • Funding cannot be used to offset a reduction in local Government funding, however it can be used to cover reductions in commercial revenue or Trust funding.
  • Funding must stay onshore.
  • Events that have received Major Events Fund or Creative and Cultural Events Incubator investment are ineligible. However events that have received other central Government investment may still apply. If you have received investment through the Major Events Fund for a past iteration of the event, but you have not received investment for this iteration you may still apply.
  • Applicants can only apply for one iteration of the event.
  • One off events are not eligible to apply.
  • Events that have secured other central government support specifically for COVID-19 recovery cannot apply.
  • Events that have already taken place or have been cancelled are not eligible. Applicants cannot apply for past events to recoup costs, applications must be submitted for a future iteration of the event.


Term Definition

Domestic event

From Government’s perspective, a domestic event is an event held within a New Zealand region that is considered nationally significant. 

National significance

National significance:

  • social, cultural or economic importance to a region (and by extension New Zealand);
  • iconic nature (an event that is well known in New Zealand; offers something uniquely New Zealand);

importance to regional, or national, components of New Zealand’s events sector supply chain.

Business Events

Business Events meet one of the below definitions.

Incentive - meeting event as part of a programme which is offered

to its participants to reward previous performance.

Conference - participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving and consultation.  As compared with a congress, a conference is normally smaller in scale and more select in character - features which tend to facilitate the exchange of information. The term "conference" carries no special connotation as to frequency. Though not inherently limited in time, conferences are usually of limited duration with specific objectives.

Exhibition - an event which enables services and products to be promoted and encourages business relationships and future exchange between parties.

Market-based solutions

This includes attempts by an entity to secure wage subsidy support or other broad based business support that has been made available to help organisations mitigate COVID-19 related impacts. This may also include efforts to secure commercial or Trust revenue.

Re-start and Re-scale

Re-Start: where events would not continue to exist following a cancellation or long term postponement. 

Re-Scale: where an events scale is reduced either in attendance, its footprint or expenditure due to COVID-19 impacts.


Value In Kind (VIK) is included in the application form, it means the goods and/or value other than the actual form of cash received from the sponsors and/or suppliers for various benefits and services. An example might be having a supplier that provides a small marquee free of charge, which would otherwise have an associated monetary cost.

Key suppliers

Key suppliers will be suppliers that are considered by the Event Organisation as essential to the delivery for reasons including:

Greatest expenditure lines;

Only supplier of the type in region; or

Long standing relationship whereby rates have been secured via partnership or contract.

Private Sector Event Entities

Private sector organisations are owned by individuals. These businesses are driven by profit. The profit from private sector organisations benefits the owners, shareholders and investors.