Regional events due for financial boost

Show me the money . . . Tourism Waitaki acting general manager Philippa Agnew is excited to open regional funding applications. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Waitaki event organisers could receive a a big boost heading into 2023.

The Waitaki Events Advisory Board will open the second round of its regional events fund early next month or on Monday.

Tourism Waitaki acting general manager Philippa Agnew is on the advisory board that will review applications and said they could not wait to see plenty of events taking place in the district.

‘‘Any support that we can get from the Government to help drive economic benefits for the district is really exciting and it’s really exciting to see some of those larger events picking up again now that Covid is having less of an impact on the community,’’ Dr Agnew said.

‘‘We’ve all really missed going to those larger events so it’s really neat to see those coming back.’’

The Waitaki Regional Events Fund was established as part of the Government’s $50 million Regional Events Fund to stimulate domestic tourism and travel between regions through holding events.

The South Island Dairy Event was the first successful funding recipient in Waitaki.

One of the biggest dairy events in New Zealand, it was held in Oamaru in June. More than 420 farmers, rural professionals and sponsors came to the district over the three-day event.

The advisory board will focus on events that plan to attract visitors from outside of the region and encourage a longer stay in Waitaki. The board will distribute nearly $200,000 to events in the region.

More than 20 potential applicants attended a workshop last month.

Dr Agnew said the goal was to help prepare organisers to submit a successful application.

‘‘The workshop was well attended, with a range of groups participating, and we hope it has helped strengthen our district’s event management expertise and strategy development.’’

Funding distributed will be for events taking place next year.