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Events strategy to contribute to economic growth

15 September 2004

Major events strategy to contribute to economic growth

The Major Events Strategy announced today ensures that we make the most of top level events held in New Zealand, and maximise the economic returns for New Zealanders.

"Major events, like the America's Cup yacht race, have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to the region and the country. The America's Cup alone generated over $1 billion of economic activity for New Zealand, raised our international profile, showcased New Zealand products and expertise to the world and brought in new tourists," Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic Development said.

"Opportunities like that don't come along every day, so we need to ensure that we do what we can to make the most of them. By getting government agencies to work strategically, and in partnership with event organisers, we can maximise returns from the events on a more long term basis which creates greater potential to boost economic growth.

"The work done using this strategy will help to position New Zealand as a highly competitive and desirable destination for hosting major events," Jim Anderton said.

The Ministry of Tourism will undertake the secretariat function, as it has the expertise and networks required for the job. They will provide facilitation for major events and deal with applications and enquiries while the $12 million funding comes from Vote Economic, Industry and Regional Development (funds were announced in Budget 2004).

The Major Events Strategy sets out the strategic criteria for supporting major events based around three areas: economic gains, social and cultural benefits, and international exposure. Key goals include the retention of sustainable events; the growth of new and existing events; and attracting new major events to New Zealand.

Funding decisions will be made by the Inter-Agency Events Group. The Group will report every 6 months to the Minsters of Economic Develompent; Research, Science and Technology; Tourism; and Sport and Recreation.

The Inter-Agency Events Group includes:

Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Recreation New Zealand,Te Puni Korkiri, Creative New Zealand, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development.

Major events are defined as:

An event of national cultural, social and economic significance that has benefit for New Zealand.

Funding in Budget 2004

$1.5 million in 2004/05 and $3.4 million in outyears (or $3.5 including operational funding). There is $12 million provided over 4 years.

Criteria for getting support from the Major Events Fund and agencies

1. Economic Criteria

Information provided on the event should include the extent to which it:

Generates economic impact/value-added to regional and national economies by:
- generating Foreign Exchange earnings
- contributing to regional development
- building sector capability
- encouraging new international/national investment in the sector
- optimising use of existing infrastructure and providing demand for upgrading of facilities that can be further used by the community and enhance regional development opportunities

Creates employment:
- in the short-term through the staging of the event
- in the long-term as a result of the event taking place

Contributes to tourism outcomes by:
- encouraging new domestic/international visitation, e.g., America's Cup
- increasing visitor spend
- addressing issues of seasonality, regional spread and tourism infrastructure capacity

2. Social and Cultural Criteria

Information provided on the event should include the extent to which it:

Develops and promotes high achievement for New Zealanders in arts, cultural, heritage, sporting and leisure fields:
- provides an attainable target (or benchmark) for excellence otherwise
unavailable onshore in the field of pursuit;
- profiles the contribution of culture and heritage to New Zealand as a unique and creative nation;
- celebrates the diverse cultures of New Zealand especially Maori culture and the cultures of the Pacific.

Provides opportunities for New Zealanders to experience world class events:
- the anticipated level and quality of New Zealand participation
- the anticipated level of interest and support from New Zealand spectators/audiences.

Enables communities to showcase their regions and achievements nationally and internationally by:
- participation of local territorial authorities, tourism promotion and economic development agencies in hosting the event, and other community and regional organisations in staging the event;
- a programme of activities that facilitates participation in local experience or showcase local achievements.

3. International Exposure Criteria

Information provided on the event should include the extent to which it:

- Enhances international media exposure through:
- confirmed international television coverage in target markets;
- achieving media reach, frequency and spread to target audiences in priority countries or markets;
- provides an opportunity for New Zealand agencies to leverage the coverage to deliver positive outcomes

ENDS

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