Event Fund

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Upper Hutt City Council has adopted a new Event Strategy that aims to support a diverse range of events that contribute to the local economy, enhance the City’s vibrancy, have an environmental conscience and provide cultural, safe and accessible experiences that are of value to locals and visitors alike. The strategies objectives are:

  • Achieve staged growth of an events portfolio designed to maximise opportunities, provide measurable economic outcomes for our City, and growing the visitor economy
  • Strengthen aspects of Upper Hutt City Council and HuttValleyNZ’s brand positioning that will showcase industry, culture and community and will reinforce pride in our city
  • Encourage active community participation and engagement, therefore getting locals and visitors to try new things and discover new places
  • Supporting the growth of local talent, as well as local businesses and organisations to directly or indirectly benefit from events
  • A strong emphasis on Kaitiakitanga – guardianship of the land. Events that protect and enhance our City’s natural environment
  • Generate positive legacy outcomes that benefit future generations

Events Strategy 2021-2026(PDF, 795KB)

The contestable event fund is open from 1 June - 30 June each year for all events run in Upper Hutt. The application will look a little different this year and the maximum amount that can be applied for has increased from $5,000 to $10,000.

Council has identified four event categories, Signature Events, Large Events, Regional Events and Local Community Events. Each event will be assessed under the category that it naturally aligns with based on its characteristics or objectives. At a minimum, all events receiving support from Council must:

  • Support Councils long term vision and principles identified in this strategy
  • Build a sense of community or city pride
  • Commit to reasonable environmentally sustainable practices
  • Demonstrate a good fit with the existing events calendar by way of event date, geographical spread and event type/offering
  • Take advantage of and highlight existing city infrastructure and/or natural assets

Signature Events

Event aligns strongly with five or more of the strategy objectives, with measurable economic outcomes and growing the visitor economy being at least one of the five.

At a minimum, a Signature Event must:

  • Attract a minimum of 20,000 attendees for a free public event or 10,000 for a ticketed or niche event
  • Demonstrate a combined social and economic ROI of 20:1 or greater
  • Have an existing out-of-town audience who would be attracted to attend
  • Have the potential to attract positive regional, national and/or international media coverage
  • Demonstrate a national promotional reach
  • Align with Upper Hutt City Council and HuttValleyNZ’s brand positioning

Large Events

Event must align with four of the six strategy objectives, with measurable economic outcomes and growing the visitor economy being at least one of the four objectives.

At a minimum, a Large Event must:

  • Attract at least 5,000 attendees
  • Demonstrate a combined social and economic ROI of 10:1 or greater
  • Have the potential to attract local and/or regional media coverage

Regional Events

Event is one that aligns with three of the six strategy objectives but doesn’t necessarily fully have to take place in Upper Hutt.

At a minimum, a Regional Event must:  

  • Be regionally significant
  • Have some physical presence in Upper Hutt and provide opportunities for Upper Hutt’s community and/or local businesses and organisations
  • Demonstrate a combined social and economic ROI of 10:1 or greater
  • Have the potential to attract local and/or regional media coverage

Local Community Events

Event is largely community led with a targeted appeal or focus on a special interest area, sector of the community or geographical space. This also covers the delivery of not for profit events and has an expectation of being accessible and inclusive.  A Local Community Event must align with at least three of the following strategy objectives:

  • Encourage active community participation and engagement, therefore getting locals and visitors to try new things and discover new places
  • Supporting the growth of local talent, as well as local businesses and organisations to directly or indirectly benefit from events
  • A strong emphasis on Kaitiakitanga – guardianship of the land. Events that protect, enhance and celebrate our City’s natural environment;
  • Generate positive legacy outcomes that benefit future generations

The event fund is now closed for 2021. It will reopen in June 2022.

Please have ready for your application:

  • Your organisation and contact details
  • Event details including location, date and time
  • Amount of funding being requested and what it will be used for
  • Any collaboration with other community groups
  • Applicable supporting documentation for your event, such as: traffic management plan, health and safety plan, bank deposit slip, waste minimisation plan, first aid plan, public liability insurance and current financial statement
  • Information ready to demonstrate how your event contributes towards the Upper Hutt City Council's strategic priorities in the Long Term Plan: Environment, Community, City Centre, Economy and Infrastructure

Please note:

  • Funding cannot be granted retrospectivelyCouncil will not grant money for wages, salaries or event management fees
  • Maximum funding you can apply for is $10,000
  • All events Council funded must be smokefree. To find out more please see our 
  • From January 2022, events with over 1,000 people attending will be required to submit a 'waste minimisation plan'. For more information or to speak to a Waste Minimisation Officer please see our Event Waste Minimisation and Management page

Understandably, these are uncertain times as COVID-19 has had a huge impact on events this year. Should a future event be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Council will work with the organiser to postpone the event or find an alternative solution.