Application Information

The Major Events Fund is open year round. Applications for the Major Events Fund need to be submitted at least two years in advance of the event commencement date to allow sufficient time to assess the event and develop leverage and legacy programmes to secure benefits off the event/event platform.

Interested in submitting an expression of interest? Please email at majorevents@mbie.govt.nz and a call will be arranged with an advisor to discuss likely eligibility and alignment.

Fund Criteria

Applications can only be received from legal entities and cannot be sourcing long term, ongoing Government funding. All applications undergo a rigorous due diligence assessment to ensure:

  • Robust governance and event delivery structures are/will be in place;
  • The event has adequate underwriting provisions and insurance cover;
  • The event is financially viable;
  • Adequate risk management, health and safety and security plans are in place;

Applications will also be assessed to evaluate the investment proposition (and compare it alongside investments in similar events) and to determine the leverage and legacy potential.

Statement of Investment Priority (SIP) Criteria

A 2019 – 2021 SIP has been introduced to focus the investment of the Major Events Fund. The SIP will be updated regularly (approximately every 3 years or earlier if requested by Ministers). The SIP applies to all investment decisions made within the 2019- 2021 period.

The 2019 – 2021 SIP states that:

The Major Events Fund will give priority to events in New Zealand that are, or have the potential to be, internationally significant and which create social connection, reflect and celebrate New Zealand culture and build national pride.

Sports events must be high performance and engage with youth and targeted populations

In order to meet the SIP, sports events must pursue high performance outcomes and engage with youth and targeted populations, particularly low participating communities.

Creative and cultural events must engage with Maori and Pasifika arts and culture

In order to meet the SIP, creative and cultural events must create opportunities for engagement with New Zealand’s diverse culture, with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika arts and culture.

To be considered under the SIP, events must meet the criteria outlined in the SIP statement and in the specific focus area relevant to the event.

SIP aligned events will be assessed against the SIP criteria and the following preferential consideration elements:

  1. Generate a net economic benefit to New Zealand;
  2. Have substantial interest from outside the region in which it will take place;
  3. Provide an opportunity to promote “brand New Zealand”, telling New Zealand’s story in key international markets, specifically priority markets as identified by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise;
  4. Provide business, sector, diplomatic and trade opportunities, specifically in priority areas identified by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment;
  5. Increase the profile and engagement in sports, arts or culture
  6. Be timed to fall within off-peak or shoulder tourism periods
  7. Support regional dispersal;
  8. Establish or develop a home-grown event that can be retained for New Zealand;
  9. Be financially supported by local government and / or local development agencies;
  10. Does not significantly conflict with other major events being staged in New Zealand;
  11. Have at least two government agencies interested in leveraging the event
  12. Have a lead time of two years or longer;
  13. Have a financial sustainability plan that demonstrates how they will become sustainable past government investment (for recurring events).

Under the contestable nature of the Major Events Fund, preferential consideration elements will be used to rank or determine investment opportunities. As a limited Fund, all investment decisions will take the wider implications of an investment into consideration.

Outside the Statement of Investment Priority (Non-SIP) criteria

Events that do not inherently align with SIP priorities (e.g. there is little alignment with SIP priorities across the core programming) are considered to be non-SIP. The Government’s focus over the 2019 – 2021 period is on events that meet the SIP criteria. However, in exceptional circumstances, investment will be considered for non-SIP events.

Events seeking Major Events Fund investment that sit outside of the SIP priorities must demonstrate that they have the potential to generate significant benefits across as many of the following criteria as possible:

  1. Generate a net economic benefit to New Zealand;
  2. Have substantial interest from outside the region in which it will take place;
  3. Provide an opportunity to promote “brand New Zealand”, telling New Zealand’s story in key international markets, specifically priority markets as identified by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise;
  4. Provide business, sector, diplomatic and trade opportunities, specifically in priority areas identified by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment;
  5. Increase the profile and engagement in sports, arts or culture
  6. Be timed to fall within off-peak or shoulder tourism periods
  7. Support regional dispersal;
  8. Establish or develop a home-grown event that can be retained for New Zealand;
  9. Be financially supported by local government and / or local development agencies;
  10. Does not significantly conflict with other major events being staged in New Zealand;
  11. Have at least two government agencies interested in leveraging the event
  12. Have a lead time of two years or longer;
  13. Have a financial sustainability plan that demonstrates how they will become sustainable past government investment (for recurring events).

Investment parameters

An event is unlikely to receive investment if it:

  • will take place offshore/out of New Zealand. (This includes events that are held offshore and promote New Zealand).
  • is looking to support infrastructure or capital works costs;
  • is seeking investment to underwrite an event;
  • will adversely affect an existing major event due to timing or any other reason;
  • does not allow a two year lead in time to allow sufficient time to develop and activate leverage and legacy planning;
  • has a large amount of funding that will be channelled offshore (for instance; in rights fees at a disproportionate level to the likely benefits that can be secured through the event; or to offshore event organisations or in prize money.)
  • another central Government agency is applying for support.
  • Has already secured 10% or more of central government cash support. As a general rule, total public investment should not exceed a 30% threshold.
  • is generating a large profit or surplus suggesting that government investment is not required.
  • Looking to support a business or trade event.
  • Stand-alone leverage activities.

Application expectations

Data provided at EOI stage must be able to be verified and substantiated at stage two.

An invitation to present a full application following approval of an EOI for a SIP or non-SIP aligned event does not guarantee Major Events Fund investment in any way. SIP and non-SIP aligned events will undergo a rigorous due diligence assessment prior to any Major Events Fund investment being approved.  SIP aligned events; however, will be channelled through a shorter, less onerous assessment process given they align with the focus of the Fund.

The Major Events Fund is contestable and all applications will be considered

  • on the strength of the investment proposition
  • implications of investment against the pool of investment remaining in the Fund for allocation, and against previous investments

Timeframes for applications

Expression of Interest stage
Applicants will typically be advised whether the Expression of Interest has been approved or declined within one month of submission.

Full application (by invitation only) for Statement of Investment Priority aligned events (under $750,000 investment threshold)
Applicants will typically be advised of an investment decision within three months of submission.

Full application (by invitation only) for Statement of Investment Priority aligned events (over $750,000 investment threshold)
Applicants will typically be advised of investment decisions within four months of submission.

Full application (by invitation only) for non-Statement of Investment Priority aligned events
Applicants will typically be advised of investment decisions within five months of submission.