Northland Regional Events Fund announces the outcome of first round
The events, both new and existing, are being supported to a total investment of $548,000.
“The number of applications exceeded expectations, with 39 applications received in round one. You could say the Fund is overprescribed even at this early stage, highlighting the ongoing need for funding in our region to assist development, which in this case, is to support the events industry” says Tania Burt, GM Destination for Northland Inc. “This application process has also shown the high level of interest in the events industry to create, and bring, large scale events which will drive visitation and economic growth to benefit Tai Tokerau Northland. Along with visitation and economic benefit, the distribution of this fund aims to back events planned for outside the peak season, support existing event-ready infrastructure and ensure geographical and event genre spread.”
Included in the successful applications was funding to secure the Waka Ama Nationals 2022 to be held in Waitangi, with over 12,000 spectators and participants expected. This event is a good example of the level of visitation that can be achieved through the support of this fund.
The Northland Events Fund will also provide funding to the Whangārei Fringe Festival to ensure its return and expansion in the second year of the event. As with many events, the festival was heavily impacted by the pandemic. Event organiser, Hayley Clark, is excited about the opportunity presented through this fund, saying “We are extremely pleased to have received confirmation of this funding. It will help the Whangārei Fringe Festival to become a sustainable event, celebrating and showcasing all the incredible and diverse homegrown talent in Tai Tokerau and beyond! This will make Whangārei Fringe a regular fixture in the Northland events calendar.”
The National Aotearoa Māori Surfing Titles, a long-standing event which was previously based in Taranaki, will work towards becoming a permanent event in the Northland calendar thanks to the Northland Events Fund. The event brings people predominately from outside the region to popular surf spot Ahipara.
Through the recent application process, Matariki has emerged as a theme and regional opportunity to position Northland as the ‘go to’ for future events planned for this important time of the year and new public holiday. The Bay of Islands Matariki Festival 2021 has successfully displayed the potential for this activity and the Northland Events Fund will work with event organisers to ensure a platform to launch a cohesive Northland-wide approach to Matariki in 2022 and beyond as the events grow in scale and visitation.
The next funding round will be open on 01 October and will be further focused on investment in high-impact, innovative and sustainable event activity that drives visitation. Applicants must show the positive impact on the local economic landscape by offering new and exciting experiences within the region, or additionality to existing events.
The Northland Events Fund has been established by Northland Inc to administer the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Regional Events Fund in Tai Tokerau Northland.
Bay of Island Waka Ama Festival
Photo Credit: Ruth Lawton Photography
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