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Pacific Coast Highway Regional Investment Plan Overview

In September 2020, The New Zealand Government announced a $50 million Regional Events Fund.  This fund is intended to support the visitor sector by stimulating domestic tourism and travel between regions through holding events, which will help replace some spend lost through international travel as a result of COVID-19.

Tourism New Zealand research indicates that up to one third of domestic travel is primarily driven by people looking to participate in events. This research also highlights how New Zealanders intend to spend more on domestic holidays including events.

This provides confidence that domestic visitation will grow especially as outbound travel is in decline. As such, it made sense to support the events sector, encourage intra-regional travel and increase the spill over benefits across regions.

The Fund has been split across the regional tourism organisation groupings based on their share of international visitor spending prior to COVID-19.

To send an Expression of Interest for the Regional Events Fund - please click here.

For further information on the Regional Events Fund please visit

RTO Grouping

Pacific Coast Highway

Regions represented

Pacific Coast Highway; Coromandel, Coastal Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay

Amount of funding approved

$2 million (GST excl.) to be used over the next 2-4 years

Lead Entity

Tourism Bay of Plenty

Contact details:

Tourism Bay of Plenty


Email: [email protected]

Executive summary & RTO process

The Pacific Coast IMA is grateful for the Regional Events Fund as a catalyst to improve our regions’ event capacity and capability and increase domestic visitation and spend. As each of the sub-regions are at differing stages with their events strategies, the panel has agreed to split the $2m total allocation by international visitor spend (to the year ending Jan 2020). The fund will be utilised to support each RTOs’ goals and key focus areas as follows: 

  • Destination Coromandel aims to build a stronger calendar of events that will collectively showcase the essence of The Coromandel while stimulating and enhancing the economic wellbeing of the region. 
  • Tourism Bay of Plenty will use a phased approach to utilise the fund. This financial year will focus on the development of the region’s major events strategy (co-funded with Tauranga City Council), as well as funding towards an already agreed Regional Event priority. Phase two will solidify a calendar of regional events to ensure a collaborative events sector that enhances the visitor economy of Te Moananui ā Toi | the Coastal Bay of Plenty, engages with community and local iwi, and aligns to the region’s Place DNA® and target audiences. Funding in the remaining four years is applied to Event Feasibility and Development of the events that will meet these outcomes. Tourism Bay of Plenty will also increase its focus on business events resource over the four-year term 2021 – 25.
  • Tairāwhiti Gisborne aims to use events as a lever to contribute to its goals and aspirations for the entire visitor sector to grow by an additional $85 million in visitor spend over the next five years as well increase the number of jobs above the living wage in the region to 150.
  • Hawke’s Bay Tourism has the goal to be the premier destination to experience food and wine in Aotearoa New Zealand. The regional events fund will enable it to enhance the current offering and support new activations to develop a seasonal calendar of food-focussed

The four regions have agreed that success will be achieved when events are delivered that promote the well-being pillars of:

1. Cultural: increasing iwi and community engagement,

2. Social: enhancing community spirit, improving job opportunities for residents and fostering a sense of place and pride among residents.

3. Environmental: striving to be environmentally friendly and, where possible, target zero waste for events.

4. Economic: increasing visitation and visitor spend, increasing awareness of the Pacific Coast Highway.