Regional Events Fund

Fiordland Regional Events Fund

About the Regional Events Fund

The purpose of the Regional Events Fund is to stimulate inter and intra-regional visitation through funding events that will encourage expenditure missed by international visitor markets.

As part of the Government’s Tourism Recovery package, in late 2020 a $47.75 million Regional Events Fund (REF) was established and allocated to the nine International Marketing Alliance (IMA) groupings of the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs). As Southland has two RTOs, Destination Fiordland RTO was allocated $850,000 through the Southern Lakes IMA and Southland RTO was allocated $442,444 through the Pure Southern Land IMA. 

On behalf of both Southland RTOs, Great South has developed the investment plans that set out how the funding allocations for how the Southland and Fiordland funds will be spent. These plans align with the recently developed Southland Murihiku Events Strategy and have been approved by the REF’s administrating agency, MBIE.  A high-level summary of both investment plans is below:


Southland RTO

Destination Fiordland RTO

Event Capability, Advice & Workshops



Business Events Development and Promotion



New and Existing Events






As outlined in the investment plans, a component of the funding was made available to support eligible new and existing events via two contestable funds. Both funds were administered by Great South and both funds are now closed. They were:

Southland Regional Events Fund 

  • Available for events held in the Southland RTO area
  • $180,000 was distributed over two funding rounds

Fiordland Regional Events Fund

  • Available for events held in the Fiordland RTO area
  • $580,000 was distributed over six funding rounds

Fund Foundation Principles

The Foundation Principles of the fund include prioritising events that:

  • Drive ‘out of region’ visitation
  • Bring measurable economic benefit to the region
  • Collaborate with, but do not compete with other regional or large national events
  • Complement a regional calendar of events that is well-balanced to create year-round stimulation
  • Offer leverage opportunities to local businesses
  • Engage the local workforce
  • Demonstrate community and social licence
  • Utilise current regional infrastructure
  • Use 50% local suppliers
  • Demonstrate strategies to mitigate, reduce and offset carbon footprints.

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