The Minister of Internal Affairs Nathan Guy has welcomed the strong interest shown in the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund, with 482 applications received totalling $70 million.
"This shows the level of enthusiasm from communities throughout the country to be part of New Zealand's biggest ever festival during the Rugby World Cup next year.
"The NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund, which opened in July and closed late last month, will support community events as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.
"The festival will showcase the best of New Zealand's arts, food and wine, heritage, entertainment, and experiences during the Rugby World Cup 2011.
"The response has been so positive that applications total almost seven times the amount available in the $9.48m fund.
"Every region of New Zealand has expressed an interest in making the most of this, with the quality of applications high and very diverse.
"A wide range of organisations have expressed their interest, including arts, sports and community organisations. Proposed festival events range from plays and concerts, to community festivals and sports tournaments."
Applications are being considered by members of the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund Committee comprising Bob Parker, Sir David Gascoigne, Bob Harvey, Sharon Hunter, and Wally Stone.
"This funding will help ensure that both the economic benefits and the excitement of being part of Rugby World Cup 2011 reach communities in every corner of New Zealand."
Successful applicants are likely to be announced in late November. More information about the REAL New Zealand Festival is available at and information on lottery grants is available at www.realnzfestival.com and information on lottery grants is available at www.dia.govt.nz. .
Updated on 23rd July 2015