The Government has approved the joint Regional Investment Plan submitted by Auckland and Northland that will boost business and major events in both regions.
Last September, Auckland Unlimited and Northland Inc received $19-million from the Government’s $400-million Tourism Recovery package to support the events industry in the two regions.
The investment plan outlines the funding model, which is structured into four categories with an overarching focus on events that provide a catalyst for regional visitation and leverage in Auckland and Northland beyond the timeframe of an event.
The categories are:
Anchor Events Fund is administered alongside Auckland Unlimited’s Major Events Programme with a focus on events in terms of event participation and spectators. This includes the development of new and unique large-scale events in both the major events and business events areas, and events that combine the two.
This Fund also encourages working together with other New Zealand regions on a smarter approach to the scheduling of events to reduce the risk of “event fatigue” across the country, and to collaborate on multiple venue approaches to both new and existing events.
Business Events Fund focuses on the attraction and development of business events in the greater Auckland region and the development of hybrid events for international engagement through virtual/digital platforms.
Regional Events Fund Auckland and Regional Events Fund Northland are contestable funds. The key criteria for applying for funding is that events should drive domestic and intra-regional visitation. Applications for each contestable fund will be administered by Auckland Unlimited and Northland Inc respectively. Within this category, events can receive funding across multiple years to grow and be sustainable.
Auckland Unlimited Chief Executive Nick Hill welcomed the Government’s endorsement.
“This substantial financial support is critical for the events sector and our region’s visitor economy. The fact that we have four years to deliver our plan offers a level of certainty both for Auckland Unlimited and the events we partner with,” Hill said.
“We have seen over the last few months that events are a catalyst for both domestic tourism and the wider economic benefits it provides our region.
“As Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s economic and cultural agency, committed to making our region a desirable place to visit - as well as to live, work, invest and do business - this fund will further support our efforts to attract more visitors,” he added.
Northland Inc Chief Executive Murray Reade supports this view and the opportunity it provides the regions.
“The Regional Events Fund provides a significant opportunity to strengthen our working relationship with Auckland Unlimited for the betterment of the Northland region.
“Our objectives for Northland are to drive visitation to, and throughout, our region, while evolving our capability and event support process so at the close of the four-year period of this fund, we have built strong partnerships, both within and between regions, and continue to support event-based outcomes long into the future,” Reade added.