Regional Events Fund

The $50 million Regional Events Fund is designed to stimulate domestic tourism and travel between regions through holding events. This is intended to support the tourism and events sector, and replace some of the spend from international tourists as a result of COVID-19.

Funding allocation

The Fund will be split across International Marketing Alliances (IMA) groupings based on their share of international visitor spending prior to COVID-19. The Regional Tourism Organisations in each IMA are highlighted below.

Total Fund $50.00  
IMA $ million RTOs covered
Northland & Auckland $19.00 Auckland, Northland
Thermal Explorer Highway $3.75 Waikato, Rotorua, Lake Taupō, Ruapehu
Pacific Coast Highway $2.00 Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne
Western North Island $1.00 Whanganui, Taranaki, Manawatu
Wellington & Wairarapa $3.50 Wellington, Wairarapa
Nelson & Marlborough $1.50 Nelson, Marlborough
Canterbury & West Coast $7.00 Christchurch, Aoraki, Mackenzie, Hurunui, West Coast, Kaikōura
Southern Lakes $8.50 Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago, Fiordland
Pure Southern Land $1.50 Dunedin, Southland, Waitaki, Clutha
Total to IMAs $47.75  
TRENZ $2.00  
Fund Management $0.25  

Tourism New Zealand will separately receive $2 million to partner with Tourism Industry Aotearoa to deliver their annual business-to-business tourism trade event for New Zealand, TRENZ, and to review how TRENZ could operate past 2021. 

How funding will be distributed

Each IMA will form an Event Investment Panel to develop their Regional Investment Plan. Every RTO within an IMA is entitled to be on the Panel. RTOs on an Event Investment Panel (Panel) should consider whether other key stakeholders should be invited to the Panel (e.g. Council).

The Panel will nominate one RTO as the lead entity, who will be responsible for the funding agreement with MBIE. RTNZ and MBIE will confirm the Investment Plans meet the criteria prior to the Lead Entity publishing their plan online.

The role of the Panel is to:

  • decide how the funding should be distributed
  • determine the length of the Regional Investment Plan (two to four years)
  • make best use of the funding available
  • ensure the funding benefits all regions within the IMA
  • ensure the funding is used for events that stimulate domestic tourism by drawing visitors from outside the region.

Under this model, MBIE will not be making decisions around what events are funded. Each Events Investment Panel will have the autonomy to determine the mix of events that best meets the regions’ needs for the next two to four years.

Next steps

Further information will be provided later in September, including a Regional Investment Plan template and guidance.

RTO eligibility

References to RTOs above apply to Regional Tourism Organisations who as of 1 July 2020 are official members of Regional Tourism New Zealand RTNZ (Incorporated Society).

Further information

Please contact for further information on the regional events fund.

Last updated: 14 September 2020