Tourism Infrastructure Fund eligibility and co-funding criteria

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund is open to councils, although some community organisations with council backing can apply.

Applications for Tourism Infrastructure Fund Round 7 will be open from 11 April 2023 to 8 May 2023.

Who can apply

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund is open to:

  • all local councils
  • not-for–profit community organisations that can demonstrate support from their local council.

Who a council authorises to make an application is up to them, but the person or organisation doing so must have the authority to commit the required local council co-funding.

Councils or community organisations with council support are eligible to apply for local visitor-related infrastructure.

2 or more councils can work together to submit a single application.

Regional councils

While regional councils are technically able to apply, projects considered eligible by the fund are mostly the responsibility of local council to co-fund and deliver.

However, we will consider applications for eligible projects that regional councils want to deliver and co-fund with the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Tourism Infrastructure Fund: Purpose, eligibility and assessment criteria [PDF, 121 KB]

Funding priorities

Applications are invited from all councils.

Round 7 will give particular priority to applications from councils where visitor-related infrastructure has been affected by the recent extreme weather events in the last year, as will upgrades to improve resilience in regions particularly where there is a low ratepayer base and high visitor numbers.

However, priority will continue to be given to projects that demonstrate the need for additional visitor-related public infrastructure from applicants who:

  • have high visitor to ratepayer ratios
  • are financially constrained
  • have investigated alternative funding options.

And projects that:

  • fund and deliver solutions to reduce pressure on existing infrastructure due to visitor growth
  • support the Tourism Strategy
  • represent value for money
  • result in better outcomes for visitors

The fund considers projects:

  • able to start immediately
  • to be completed over the longer term
  • under $25,000 where a series of linked projects have been combined into one application. Applicants need to clearly state the priority for each sub-project in their application.

Project criteria

In summary, the criteria are:

  • projects address capacity constraints, and/or support regions to realise their tourism potential
  • projects demonstrate value for money, and have considered innovative approaches to delivery and funding
  • co-funding is required, and other funding options have been investigated
  • applicants are financially constrained.

Tourism Infrastructure Fund: Purpose, eligibility and asessment criteria [PDF, 121 KB]

Co-funding requirements

Applicants are expected to co-fund their project to the maximum extent they are able, and to a minimum of 50%.

Applicants must demonstrate they have offered the maximum co-funding possible.

While proposals with co-funding below 50% will still be considered, our financial assessment would need to confirm that the council is financially constrained and unable to offer 50% co-funding.

For projects that are ready to start immediately, it's expected that the co-funding has been confirmed at the time of application.

Tourism Infrastructure Fund: Purpose, eligibility and asessment criteria [PDF, 121 KB]

Eligible projects

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports the development of public infrastructure used by visitors. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • carparks
  • toilets
  • freedom camping facilities
  • sewerage and water (tourism-related portion only)
  • safety upgrades to public spaces (for example, footpaths )
  • infrastructure for natural attractions.

Signage and rest-stop facilities may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Land owned by other government agencies

Projects that involve building tourism infrastructure on land owned by other government agencies (eg, the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand or the New Zealand Transport Authority) are eligible for funding.

Land owned by commercial operators or iwi

Projects on land owned by commercial operators or iwi may be eligible. Councils would need to own the infrastructure that the fund supports — that is, register it as a council asset.

Councils are also responsible for making arrangements with the relevant agencies for the maintenance of the infrastructure and ongoing particular land access and use.

Long term and annual plans

Projects included in council long term and annual plans, or other consultation processes are eligible provided the council has not already decided to fully fund the project by itself.

The project would need:

  • to be going ahead
  • enable a superior solution to a problem than the solution the council can afford on its own, or
  • make a vital project happen earlier.

Councils are required to demonstrate that there is community support for a project for which they're seeking funding. Projects that have been discussed with the community during consultation and/or planning processes would meet that requirement.

Health and safety

Projects based on health and safety improvements are eligible as long as they are public mixed-use infrastructure projects that:

  • address an identified problem
  • meet Fund eligibility criteria, and
  • will have demonstrable benefits for visitors.

Camping grounds

Camping ground infrastructure projects could be in scope, provided the campground is council-owned. We look closely at these proposals to consider their impact on commercial operators in the area (if any).

Wharves and berths

Infrastructure connected to wharves (eg, shelters or toilets for off-and on-boarding passengers) are eligible if they provide a solution to an identified problem. However, wharves and berths themselves are generally out of scope, but will be considered on a case by case basis.

Projects the fund doesn't support

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund doesn't support:

  • projects under $25,000, although a series of linked projects can be combined to form one application. Applicants need to clearly state the priority for each sub-project in their application
  • commercial, or semi-commercial facilities, infrastructure projects where central government has already dedicated investment. Examples include mobile blackspot coverage, New Zealand Transport Authority-funded land transport, or infrastructure that's not directly linked to visitor volumes (such as storm water systems)
  • infrastructure projects without a substantial visitor-volume driven component
  • government agencies and commercial entities
  • projects receiving other central government funding. Lotteries grants are not considered to be central government funding
  • cycle trails with Great Ride status. These already have a dedicated fund, so projects would need to clearly demonstrate they are not commercial in nature, and that other funding options have been investigated
  • feasibility studies.
Last updated: 06 April 2023