Whanganui & Partners event funding opens

Whanganui & Partners is anticipating a keenly contested round of event funding after a summer full of successful local offerings.

The region’s events are popular with the community, lead to high visitor numbers and boost local businesses. Rebecca Black, who is overseeing the Economic Development Agency’s marketing and events functions, says the support of local events is fundamentally important to Whanganui & Partners.  

Funding applications for events taking place between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 will open on April 28 and close on June 2. 

Apply now

“This past summer, the energy these events bring and the pride they generate for our community has been really noticeable, especially after missing out on many of our favourite events last summer.  

“We’ve loved seeing visitors back enjoying Whanganui and we’ve loved seeing our community find themselves busy celebrating again,” Black said. “We hope people have been inspired to consider what is possible and to think about events they would like to get underway.” 

She said Whanganui had excellent regular events with a well-established history and keen following, along with plenty of creative and motivated people with the initiative to develop new ideas. 

“We look forward to receiving applications from a broad range of groups. We’d love to see applications for new events, and we’re also interested in hearing from out-of-town organisers considering holding an event here. 

“It’s always great to see proposals for events outside of those particularly busy summer months too, the quieter mid-year months provide a good opportunity to capture people’s interest with a new event.” 

Events bring thousands of spectators and participants to Whanganui, boost hospitality and retail businesses, and add vibrancy and energy to the city. 

“The events we have in Whanganui help define our growing national profile as a place of opportunity, creativity and adventure. We saw that with this January’s Colgate Games where, despite the summer rain, families were around town enjoying Whanganui and promoting the city on social media.” 

She said April’s Hoop Nation Junior Showcase basketball festival and June’s Comedy Gala were great examples of the diversity of events Whanganui could support.  

“It’s great to see Hoop Nation in Whanganui, showcasing our sports facilities and lifestyle. Then we have events like the Comedy Gala, which is going to be a great mid-winter event for locals and visitors to look forward to.” 

Black said well-established big events like Cemetery Circuit, Masters Games, Vintage Weekend and Artists Open Studios had made a notable positive economic impact in 2022/23 and reinforced the value they offered.  

“We pay close attention to the boost in visitor and overall consumer spending during these periods. The data shows that investing in events helps our economy grow, bringing money into our region and supporting local businesses and those they employ.”  

Black said Whanganui & Partners had recently accessed other areas of funding through central government, in addition to the agency’s own events funding allocation. She said the success and popularity of Whanganui’s events was an advantage when additional funding opportunities arose.  

“We are proud of the exceptional events that call Whanganui home and the extra central government support over the previous two years demonstrates the value and reputation of these events.” 

The agency’s process to secure funding is competitive. Event organisers needed to have robust plans demonstrating their intention to grow towards self-sufficiency. They must also meet strict criteria around the economic and social value their events offer. They should attract visitors to the region and support Whanganui’s positive profile. 

Whanganui & Partners also assists successful event organisers with marketing guidance and insight.  

“We meet with organisers regularly to discuss their plans and progression. We want to help ensure these events enjoy ongoing success,” Black said. “We know all events have the potential to grow and improve and we are there to give insight and encouragement as well as financial support.” 

Black said the agency was hoping for a good number of funding applications and encouraged anyone interested in creating a new event to get in touch and talk about their plans. Go to our Event support & funding page to apply for funding. 

“Support for events is an integral part of our agency’s strategies to support business, attract visitors and build Whanganui’s reputation as a great place to live, work and visit.” 

  • Log in
  • Register

Forgot Password

Register to gain access to the Discover Whanganui resource hub.