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Events Funding Website Launched

7 April 2006

Events Funding Website Launched

The New Zealand Major Events unit has just launched a brand new website, www.majorevents.govt.nz, which enables anyone to apply for government funding for major events.

The funding is to attract new major events, to develop existing events or to retain those which provide the country with a high return. New Zealand Major Events is a unit within the Ministry of Tourism and its existence shows how seriously events are being taken by the government. The unit administers the

Major Events Development Fund, which has an annual budget of $3.4million. Funding decisions are made by an Inter-Agency Events Group, which has members from various government agencies, who are all involved with events.

New Zealand Major Events manager, Vito Lo Iacono, believes that government involvement is an evolutionary process. “The website is a great step towards making government support more accessible to the events industry,” says Mr Lo Iacono. “The website clearly shows the criteria for funding and walks the applicant through the process.”

The website went live on 7th April 2006. Mr Lo Iacono says the website will enable easier assessment of the capability of existing or proposed events. The future aim for the site is to enable research to be carried out on the industry’s capabilities - and what mega events can be attracted to New Zealand. Major Events Advisor, Anne-Louise Wirth says applications can now be done online. Applicants fill in an application form, an assessment tool and attach supporting materials. The information provided to

New Zealand Major Events is a sophisticated analysis of the event and allows for a fair assessment process. Ms Wirth is expecting applications for events as far ahead as 2020. “Our support will go to events that increase the overall benefit to New Zealand. Our role is not to underwrite events but to grow, attract and retain major events.”

Mr Lo Iacono says the unit will take a positive approach to funding proposals. “The message is that we want them to think outside the square on how events can be improved.”

Mr Lo Iacono defines events as “activity which generate economic development, showcases industries, brands a destination and provides a platform for business exchange. Branding is a key element. New Zealand needs to be positioned in the right place, with events reflecting who we are and how we want to be perceived.”

The New Zealand Major Events unit has also been tasked with revising the draft events strategy approved by Cabinet in 2004, and creating the first national events strategy. Mr Lo Iacono wants to engage with the event industry. “To make sure we address the needs of the industry we will be working with key stakeholders and consulting widely. We look forward to industry input.”

ENDS

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