Horse of the Year supported.

Nine events have received funding from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Events Fund, including $25,000 for Horse of the Year. 

Event organisers and promoters of 17 events applied to the one-off event fund, with the full $100,000 allocated across the nine recipients. Event managers could apply for funds to assist in the establishment or further development of regional events, but not business-as-usual running costs of the event. 

The successful applicants and their respective funding allocations are: 

  • Horse of the Year: $25,000
  • Nest Fest: $20,000
  • Triathlon NZ: $10,000
  • Rebel Round Up: $10,000
  • Outfield Festival: $10,000
  • Collins Street Festival: $10,000
  • Hawke’s Bay Cricket Camps: $5,000
  • Sanctuary Sounds Music Festival: $5,000
  • Matariki at Ātea a Rangi: $5,000

Of the nine events, two are in Central Hawke’s Bay, two are new events, and the other five signature Hawke’s Bay events looking to grow in capacity and capability.

Land Rover Horse of the Year Event Manager Sophie Blake said it was well known that Horse of the Year was one of Hawke’s Bay’s iconic events, right up there with Art Deco.

“However, there are challenges associated with resuming the event after three-year hiatus,” Blake said. “It is crucial for us to regain our position on the event calendar and develop a collection of content and celebrations to promote both the event and the region. Hawke’s Bay is an ideal location for hosting events, and we are highly grateful for the support provided by this fund, along with both Hastings District and Napier City Councils.”

Hawke’s Bay Tourism Chief Executive Hamish Saxton said the money was made available as a part of the Regional Events Funding (REF) that was distributed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“As a result of the continued impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on the Hawke’s Bay visitor economy as well as the region’s events sector, Hawke’s Bay Tourism wanted to ensure the events industry could return to full strength through sustainable growth and increased social benefits to Hawke’s Bay communities,” he said.

Saxton said as the third largest contributor to regional GDP (after processing/manufacturing and agriculture) and employing one in every 10 residents, the Visitor Economy played an important role in Hawke’s Bay life.

“The Hawke’s Bay Events Fund was the last tranche of REF funding we had available to do this and sustainable outcomes were targeted by investing in events designed to create the greatest impact for the region and build the sector capability. This activity underpins our organisation’s purpose to harness tourism and deliver measurable returns to the Hawke’s Bay region that maximise the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits.”

The Hawke’s Bay Events Fund was a one-off contestable events fund of a total pool of $100,000, with no more than $25,000 allocated to any single event. All applications were assessed by the Hawke’s Bay Events Fund Panel against the outlined criteria and guidelines.

The panel was made up of representatives from Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council and Hawke’s Bay Tourism, and included an independent representative from Major Events division at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited. 


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