Applying to be declared a major event under the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEMA)

To benefit from the MEMA protections, an event must be declared to be a ‘major event’ by the Governor-General. The criteria and process for a declaration are set out in the MEMA. They include considerations related to the international significance of the major event (such as international visitation and media coverage) and the benefits it would bring to New Zealand and New Zealanders. To start the process, the event organiser must apply for the event to be declared to be a major event under the Act. If you wish to apply, please contact the Major Events team within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Declared major events

  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
  • Rugby World Cup 2021 (Playing in 2022)
  • Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022
  • 36th America’s Cup
  • Rugby League World Cup 2017
  • New Zealand Lions Series 2017
  • World Masters Games 2017
  • Cricket World Cup 2015
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015
  • IRB Junior World Championship 2014
  • Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover 2012
  • Triathlon World Cup 2011 Series Event and Triathlon World Championship Grand Final 2012
  • Rugby World Cup 2011
  • World Rowing Championships 2010
  • U-19 Cricket World Cup 2010
  • FIBA U-19 World Championship 2009
  • FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2008

How to apply

Contact the Major Events team within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to discuss your event and a possible MEMA application. Should you wish to proceed, you will be asked to fill in an application form requiring you to provide detailed information demonstrating how your event would meet the criteria and considerations set out in the MEMA.

‘Major event’ declaration requirements, and possible evidence


Criteria and considerations under the Act

Information to be submitted (non-exhaustive list)

The event organiser has the capacity and intention to successfully and professionally manage the event.

Information about the event organiser's:

  • management structure
  • resources and expertise
  • support from any governing international body
  • history of successfully managing similar events.

The event organiser has the capacity and intention to use all practicable measures available under the existing law to prevent unauthorised commercial exploitation of the major event and to protect its intellectual property and other legal rights (including, for example, registering relevant trade marks).

Information about the event organiser's:

  • programme of intellectual property registration and enforcement plans
  • contractual arrangements with sponsors and participants.

The event will attract a large number of international participants or spectators and therefore generate significant tourism opportunities for New Zealand.

  • Forecasted international spectator and participant numbers
  • Forecasted number of international visitor nights
  • What countries will the international visitors come from.

The event will significantly raise New Zealand’s international profile.

Information about how New Zealand’s hosting of the event will enhance New Zealand’s international profile generally, and with the governing international body.

The event will require a high level of professional management and coordination.

Information about the scale of the event, such as number of venues, participants, officials and VIPs.

The event will attract significant sponsorship and international media coverage.

Information about:

  • who the main sponsors are
  • what the likely international media coverage is, such as how many media will attend, from where, and how extensively the event will be broadcast internationally.

The event will attract large numbers of New Zealanders as participants and spectators.

Information about:

  • estimated domestic attendance
  • how New Zealanders might participate, such as volunteers, officials, participants etc.

The event will offer substantial sporting, cultural, social, economic, or other benefits for New Zealand or New Zealanders.

Information about:

  • forecasted economic benefit
  • promotion of participation and high achievement in the event field
  • enhancing key relationships
  • experience for hosting future events.

In addition to the declaration of an event as a 'major event', the MEMA makes provision for the declaration of emblems and words to be 'major event' emblems and words. If you are considering applying for a major event declaration, you should also consider whether to apply for event emblems and words to be declared under MEMA.

You should also consider whether clean zones and clean transport routes might be required in relation to your event. However, this is a separate process, and a clean zones and clean transport routes application can only be initiated if your event is declared a major event under MEMA.


Applications take time to prepare and complete and, once submitted, to assess. If approved by the responsible Minister, a proposed MEMA declaration then needs to go through the legislative process. We therefore recommend you start planning at least 18 months out from your event.

Contact us

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is responsible for administering the Act, through the Major Events team.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Major Events Team.

General enquiries

Please email