Sponsorship and support for events that enhance regional and local Christchurch as a place to live and visit and to strengthen the distinctive lifestyle, qualities and identity of Christchurch.

The Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund is a community events fund that aligns with the Events Policy Framework, Community Events Implementation Plan and the Central City Activation Plan.

The Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund is now closed

Applications for the 2023/2024 funding period will open in early 2023.

For assistance email eventsfunding@ccc.govt.nz.

In accordance with the Events Policy Framework(external link) the following goals have been set for what the city aims to achieve through involvement in events:

  • A well-balanced and coordinated calendar of events to create a more vibrant place year-round – for residents and visitors
  • A variety of events are accessible for residents and visitors
  • A range of socially inclusive events reflect the diversity of people and communities in Christchurch and assist in the city’s regeneration
  • Christchurch enhances its reputation as an events-friendly city; it becomes known as an easy place to hold events with a smooth and efficient consenting process
  • Leverage and legacy opportunities are identified and taken when hosting events in Christchurch
  • All events promote one or more of the Council’s community outcomes
  • A number of major events attract visitors to the city and boost the economy
  • To encourage local talent to emerge and thrive in Christchurch
  • Our events aim to:
    • be environmentally sustainable with efficient use of resources, minimal impact on the natural environment and implementation of sustainable practices (e.g. effective waste management and recycling systems etc.)
    • be financially viable (can include social outcomes in any cost/benefit analysis) minimise any negative impacts on neighbourhoods
    • be universally accessible
    • support healthy lifestyles
    • promote the use of public, active, and shared transport

In December 2017, the Council adopted an Events Policy Framework to replace the 2007–2017 Events Strategy. The purpose of this framework is to:

  1. Update the vision for events in Christchurch
  2. Enable Christchurch to be a more appealing and efficient place to hold events 
  3. Guide the development of, and to outline responsibility for, all event plans including the Major Events Strategy developed by ChristchurchNZ (adopted December 2018) and the Community Events Implementation Plan (adopted 2018).

ChristchurchNZ is the city’s tourism and economic development operator and was formed in 2018.

The Council and ChristchurchNZ both have key roles to play in the events industry. Responsibility for different types of events has been split between Council and ChristchurchNZ.

ChristchurchNZ Christchurch City Council
Mega events
  • International participants and audience
  • Extensive international media coverage
  • Significant and widespread benefits
  • New Zealand major events or national sporting body has been given hosting rights
  • Leverage and legacy opportunities
  • Multiple agency involvement
  • New business/trade opportunities
Regional events
  • National or regional participation and audiences
  • National and local media coverage
  • Primarily delivers social or recreational outcomes
  • May have large numbers
  • Primary Council involvement through Events and Arts team
  • May be held at Nga Puna Wai or Metro Sports facility

Major events

  • Attract a large number of national and international spectators and participants
  • National or international interest and media attention
  • Pivotal to Christchurch identity
  • Increase tourism revenue e.g. length of stay
  • Leverage and legacy opportunities
  • Add vibrancy to the central city
Local events
  • Local participants
  • Local media coverage
  • Social and civic benefits
  • Civic ceremonies and commemorations and events
  • Local volunteers
  • Primary Council involvement through Events and Arts Team
  Community events
  • Local suburb or community participants and audiences
  • Minimal media coverage
  • Benefits to suburb or community
  • Foster community spirit – participation and volunteerism. Typically held by or in partnership with not-for-profit or community groups
  • Opportunities for recreation, entertainment and celebration
  • Primary Council involvement through Community Recreation Advisors and Community Boards

Note that the Council continues to provide the necessary regulatory and compliance functions for all events held in public spaces.

If your event fits with the Major or Mega event categories visit the ChristchurchNZ website(external link) for information about the Major Events Fund. Please do not apply to the Council's Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund.

Before you apply for Events and Festivals Sponsorship Funding(external link) from the Christchurch City Council, please make sure you:

  • read this guide carefully to ensure you fully understand the eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and any post-event requirements
  • prepare any required information, including the budget, within sufficient time to meet the fund deadlines
  • provide all requested supporting information 

Please ensure your application is submitted by 11.59pm on Sunday 3 April 2022 so it can be considered. Before you submit your application, please ensure you review the funding checklist and have all your documents attached. Organisations can request to be considered for multi-year funding from the Events and Festivals Fund.

When you submit your application, you will receive an automated response. If you do not receive this, please go back and check your information.


After the submission period has ended, a panel will review all of the applications received. The applications are then submitted to the Council Committee meeting, then full Council for consideration and decision making.

To be eligible to apply for support from the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund, the event and/or event organisers must meet the following criteria:

  • The event must be within the Christchurch City Council boundaries.
  • The organisation responsible for the event must be a legal entity and must be able to provide evidence, such as
    • a trust
    • a company
    • an Incorporated Society
  • The organisation must have no outstanding debt owing to Christchurch City Council or any Council-controlled organisations
  • The event must have clear start and finish dates and must not be a programme of multiple events
  • The event/organiser must fully declare any additional Council, local board or Council-controlled organisation funding, grant or koha/ donation for the event
  • The event cannot have already taken place prior to 1 July of the year the application is made
  • If the application is for a sporting event, the event must be officially recognised by the national body of that sport
  • The applicants must comply with all Christchurch City Council’s regulatory and statutory requirements relating to the preparation and delivery of the event, including obtaining all necessary permits and consents within the allowable timeframes
  • The event must be held within the planned timeframe
  • If the application is successful, the applicant must sign the Council’s Terms & Conditions [PDF, 146 KB] in the form of a contract

Please note: All events securing funding through the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund will be required to hold up-to-date public liability insurance, which covers the proposed activity in the proposed location.

Events not eligible through the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund

  • Private functions, lunches or dinners
  • Events where the primary purpose is to promote religious, ministry or political objectives
  • Events that denigrate, exclude or offend parts of the community
  • Any conventions, conferences, trade shows or exhibitions
  • Pre-season/warm-up sports fixtures or regular season fixtures
  • Events that present a hazard to the community or pose a significant risk to the public or council
  • Any event that has or intends to apply for other Christchurch City Council or ChristchurchNZ funding or grants for any areas of your event
  • Events that have already been held
  • Biennial events will only receive funding on the year the event is being held

Event-related costs not eligible for funding through the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund

  • Capital costs
  • For the purchase of alcohol
  • For staff salaries and/or wages including artist and performance fees, appearance fees etc. 
  • Stock or capital market investment
  • Payment of fines, court costs, IRD penalties or retrospective tax payment
  • Purchase of insurance cover
  • Purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance repair, overhead costs or road user charges
  • Rent or accommodation costs
  • Service or maintenance costs including utilities such as power or phone
  • Any retrospective costs or losses
  • Travel costs and allowances
  • Debt servicing or refinancing costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Prize money or entrance fees
  • Payment of any legal expenditure including costs or expenses related to mediation disputes, ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, professional or disciplinary body hearings
  • Money to be redistributed as grant funding, sponsorship, bequests, donations, to aid funding or aid to other recipients
  • Events that have breached previous funding agreements with the Council, including post-event reporting criteria, and where no commitment has been made to rectify this

Eligible applications are prioritised for support from the contestable Events and Festivals Fund based on criteria. The support provided by the Council is based upon the assessed benefits of the event on the city as a whole.

A balanced calendar of events

  • Event is during the seasonal low points such as Autumn and Winter
  • Is unique to other events in the City
  • Fills an identified gap or priority such as:
  • Event held in Central City location
  • Profiles Christchurch and its diverse venues and open spaces
  • Is not directly duplicating a similar event or parts thereof in the city
  • Youth focussed events

Positive community benefits

  • Brings people together to share memorable experiences
  • Provides an opportunity for participation in recreation and sports activities
  • Encouraging local talent to emerge and thrive
  • Cultural expression and engaging with the current and new diverse communities
  • How events can work together to share resources
  • Capability building of community organisations

Amount of community support, involvement and/or active partnerships in the event

  • Through partnerships grow and strengthen networks and opportunities to share kaupapa Māori
  • Commercial sponsors
  • Associated community, city or national organisations
  • Volunteers
  • Non-government organisations
  • Charitable trusts

Economic impact

  • Stimulates economic activity
  • Leverages opportunities for Central City businesses/hospitality industry
  • Attracts visitors to the Central City and boosts the economy
  • Supports outcomes from Central City Action Plan relating to events
  • Profiles the city to a national audience
  • For an existing event, how effectively the event has been run in the past

Please make sure you are clear about the items for which you are applying for Council support. Once the decision has been made and approved by the Council, these details cannot be changed.

  • Complete all sections of the application form. Incomplete forms will not be considered
  • You must identify how your event aligns to the criteria of the fund

There is no maximum amount an event organiser can apply for. However, it is not the Council's position to sponsor an event and be the main financial provider. The Council is looking to support a number of events from the annual fund and there are other events the Council has committed to for the 2022/23 financial year.

Please make sure your application form is supported by the following documents:

Event budget

A detailed budget outlining all event expenses and income is an essential part of the application for funding. Budget information should be based on quotes from suppliers you intend to use.

Ensure you include all the relevant regulatory costs involved in your event, such as resource consent fees, costs for the preparation of traffic management plans by an approved contractor, building consents etc.

Please note that the Council will not fund some event-related costs – refer to Ineligibility criteria.

Company details

You must provide the structure and details of your company or a full list of trustees who are responsible for the governance of the trust and owner of the event.

In addition to the above criteria, the following will be considered:

  • the anticipated level of attendance including volunteer support, performers and/or competitors
  • potential of the event to grow
  • how accessible the event is proposed to be:
    • universally accessible
    • transport accessibility
    • cost, affordability relative to target market
    • open to anyone who wishes to attend and not constrained to a particular sector of the community – is successfully marketed through appropriate channels
  • whether the event is held once a year or biennial with a sound strategic plan for its development
  • the degree to which the event is financially sustainable:
    • the overall cost of the event relative to the scale and benefits of the event
    • the proportion of funding contributed by the organisation
    • the ability to attract/leverage other funders and sponsors
    • the length of time the event has been run and its dependence on public funds
    • volunteer contribution, capacity and capability
    • how any profits generated by the event are distributed
    • working towards a strategy for the event to become more financially sustainable including retaining profits from previous events to underwrite the next event
  • the degree to which the event uses sustainable practices:
    • transport planning
    • sound environmental operations and works to promote green initiatives
    • participation in the Council’s Composting Food Packaging at Events trial
    • respects the environment and promotes protection of key assets
  • whether the event is in the appropriate venue for its scale and type and promotes new and existing spaces in the city
  • the extent to which the event adds to any cumulative impacts on the city, businesses and local communities (relates to its timing and location relative to other events in the calendar)

All applicants must disclose if a Christchurch City Councillor or local board member or a Council employee, or their immediate family, has any interest or involvement in the event in any way. This should be outlined in the space provided on the application form.

Any Councillor or local board member involved can be present at any meeting where event sponsorship or funding is considered. However, they may not partake in the decision process. 

Applications for funding will be assessed initially by an internal panel. All final decisions are made by the Council. 

Once funding has been approved, all successful applicants will receive a funding agreement. This is a formal contract which outlines what is expected of event organisers and the amount of funding the Council is granting. The funding agreement will also outline the post-event reporting requirements for event organisers.

  • The Events and Festivals Fund is capped. The Council is not obliged to grant all of its fund in any year, nor to carry over unallocated amounts to future years.
  • Christchurch City Council has the right to share application details within all units of Council and to consult with them on applications.
  • The Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund is limited to events and will not be applicable to conventions, conferences, trade shows and exhibitions.
  • The applicant should detail in their application any actual or potential conflict of interest (including anything which might have the appearance of a conflict of interest) which could compromise the decision on the application or bring the process into disrepute.
  • All applicants must disclose to Christchurch City Council any other central government or local government funding sources for the event (either confirmed or in process), as well as any corporate or commercial sponsorship arrangements.
  • Applicants must not directly or indirectly seek to influence Christchurch City Council’s funding decisions in any improper or unethical manner (or in any way which might have the appearance of being so), nor attempt to solicit or garner non-public information from Christchurch City Council which might give an unfair advantage in the application process.
  • Each applicant warrants that all information provided in relation to its application is true and correct in all material particulars, at all times, and is not misleading whether by omission or otherwise. Each applicant must disclose all matters likely to be material to Christchurch City Council’s consideration of its application or which might have a bearing on the outcomes the council expects to be delivered from the funding.
  • If circumstances or information changes after making an application, or after the council awards funding, the applicant must immediately notify Christchurch City Council.
  • Each applicant consents to Christchurch City Council carrying out due diligence on its application, including the organisations and personnel involved, and relevant track records. The applicant consents to Christchurch City Council making due enquiries from third parties in this regard, and shall provide access to referees upon request.
  • Additional terms and conditions of funding are contained in the Funding Agreement contract [PDF, 146 KB] which all successful applicants must sign.

Should your application for funding be successful, the following further documents will be required to facilitate your event through the Council. A meeting with the appropriate staff member will be required to initiate the process and ongoing meetings throughout the time frame of receiving the funding.

  • If your event is on public land, a completed copy of the Christchurch City Council Event Permit Application – this is available from the Christchurch City Council Events Partnerships and Development Team
  • Copies of all relevant forms or proof of regulatory compliance requirements such as resource and building consents, traffic management plans, environmental health (food hygiene/safety), liquor licensing and temporary signs
  • A copy of your public liability insurance certificate
  • A full and final event budget
  • Please note that express approval must be sought from the Council for the use of any Christchurch City Council’s logos

After the event, all successful applicants will be required to formally report to the Council on the following:

  • how the conditions outlined in the contract have been met
  • specific inputs, outputs and/or outcomes as outlined in the funding agreement have been achieved
  • proof of delivery/success of the event for all measures stated in the application form
  • an event evaluation by organisers (including feedback from event attendees) – this might include areas for event development or specific issues encountered at the event
  • copies of receipts showing the expenditure of the funding or audited accounts
  • a detailed outline of all marketing and promotional achievements (i.e., list and include copies of newspaper ads or articles, the approximate number of radio and television ads, copies of all promotional material produced, website statistics, and all other marketing material and achievements)
  • audited attendance figures (spectators and event participants) including an outline of the methodology used and a breakdown of confirmed figures and estimated totals
  • inventory of employment opportunities provided, a list of full and part-time positions, as well as staff hired for the implementation of the event

Applications are assessed by a panel of staff and recommendations are noted. On 1 June 2022, these recommendations were taken to the Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee for consideration and decision making.

There were 43 applications made to the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund. Of these, five applications were transferred to other funds within Council (either due to the timing of the Council decision being made, or better alignment with other fund priorities).

Congratulations to the following events that were successful in receiving sponsorship from the Events and Festivals Sponsorship Fund for 2022/2023:

  • 17th Annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival in Ōtautahi Christchurch
  • Akaroa French Festival (2023)
  • Asian Arts Festival
  • Canterbury Open - NZ Beach Tour (2023, 2024 and 2025)
  • Celebrating Philippine Festival with Global Friends
  • Christchurch Brick Show
  • Christchurch Latin Street Festival (2022, 2023 and 2024)
  • Christmas in the City
  • Illuminate - Light and Sound
  • International Track Meet and The FAST Five (2023, 2024 and 2025)
  • Japan Fiesta
  • Korea Day
  • Made in Canterbury
  • Matariki in the Zone (2023)
  • Matilda - The Musical
  • Midsummer Night's Dream at the Isaac Theatre Royal
  • NZSO's 'Immerse' Festival Concerts & Free Open Doors Family Day
  • Open Christchurch
  • Orton Bradley Park Spring Fair
  • Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival (Tiny Fest)
  • SCAPE Public Art Season (2023 and 2024)
  • Thai Festival
  • The Christchurch Christmas Show Parade
  • Waitangi Day Commemorations at Okains Bay
  • Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF)

Events supported for the 2022/23 financial year that are already on contract (e.g. the decision to fund was made in a previous financial year):

  • Armageddon Expo
  • Big Band Festival
  • Canterbury Japan Day
  • Canterbury Polyfest
  • Christchurch Holi Festival
  • Christchurch Marathon
  • Coca Cola Christmas in the Park
  • Crater Rim Ultra Trail Run
  • Grow Otautahi
  • ISCC Diwali
  • Jazz and Cabaret Festival
  • Le Grande Swim
  • Le Race
  • Live Broadcast of Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations in Christchurch
  • Matariki Festival
  • SCAPE Public Art Season (2022)
  • Sea2Sky Challenge
  • Takahe 2 Akaroa
  • The Single Fin Mingle
  • Waitangi Day at Victoria Square
  • Winter Festival "Chill the City"
  • WORD Christchurch Festival
  • YMCA Carols by Candlelight