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Source: New Zealand Government

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has today announced further details of how the $50 million Regional Events Fund will be allocated, confirming that regions will take the charge on driving domestic tourism, as part of the Government’s tourism recovery plan and support for jobs.

“One of the ways we are supporting all regions’ economic recovery, but particularly those who have been impacted by the downturn in international visitors, is by boosting domestic tourism through investment in the New Zealand events sector,” Kelvin Davis said. 

“We are supporting the events sector as Tourism New Zealand advice indicates that up to one third of domestic travel is primarily driven by people looking to take part in events. 

“Through this fund, we will empower regions to make the decisions around how the money is spent and what events are most likely to drive domestic visitation for their region. This means they can invest in existing events, developing new ones, capability building or events coordination.

“Critically, this is a medium-term fund and is designed to provide funding certainty across the next two to four years, and will be especially helpful for 2021 and beyond,” Kelvin Davis said. 

The funding will be distributed to nine groupings of Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), using the same regional boundaries as the nine existing International Marketing Alliances. This will encourage collaboration between regions and ensure accountability over how money is spent. 

Funding for Regions:

Funding is being allocated across International Marketing Alliances (IMA) based on their share of international visitor spending prior to COVID-19.


$ million

RTOs covered

Northland & Auckland


Auckland, Northland

Thermal Explorer Highway


Waikato, Rotorua, Lake Taupō, Ruapehu

Pacific Coast Highway


Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne

Western North Island


Whanganui, Taranaki, Manawatu

Wellington & Wairarapa


Wellington, Wairarapa

Nelson & Marlborough


Nelson, Marlborough

Canterbury & West Coast


Christchurch, Aoraki, Mackenzie, Hurunui, West Coast, Kaikōura

Southern Lakes


Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago, Fiordland

Pure Southern Land


Dunedin, Southland, Waitaki, Clutha

Total to IMAs






Fund Management



Total Fund



“The planning and development of the Fund is well underway, and we are working closely with the national body Regional Tourism New Zealand and the Regional Tourism Organisations,” Kelvin Davis said.

“I am also pleased to announce that as part of the Fund, Tourism Recovery Ministers agreed to provide $2 million to support the annual business-to-business tourism trade event for New Zealand, TRENZ.

“This funding will allow the event manager Tourism Industry Aotearoa, in close partnership with Tourism New Zealand, to evolve TRENZ so it can continue to flourish in 2021 and beyond,” Kelvin Davis said.

Notes to Editors:

  • Each IMA grouping will need to produce an investment plan prior to funds being released. MBIE, along with RTNZ, will confirm the plans meet the agreed investment plan criteria as a part of this process.
  • MBIE intends to provide each IMA grouping with an investment plan template and guidance before the end of September.
  • We expect investment plans to be submitted by early November, and funding agreements to be in place by December.