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Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme

Pūtea Tautoko mō ngā Huihuinga Aro Toi
Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme


About the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme

The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme is designed to help organisers of arts and cultural events have confidence to commit to and deliver events under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.  It also offers reassurance for artists and crew that that they can get paid if their events can’t go ahead as planned.

The scheme supports arts and cultural events by providing up to $300,000 to cover non-recoverable financial losses for registered events that are:

  • held indoors and unable to go ahead due to the event location being at Red or under a government-mandated local lockdown, or 
  • unable to go ahead as the lead performer(s) are in self-isolation (as advised by a Health Authority) or have COVID-19.

This scheme is for events with attendee capacity of 100-5000 ticketed or un-ticketed, or 5000+ un-ticketed (free).

Full details are included as part of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information, which is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (online)
Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (PDF 340KB)

We strongly recommend you read all the available information before beginning your registration. 


Key timeframes for the scheme

For an event to be eligible for coverage the event organiser must either:  

Scheduled event dates and registration timeframes 

For an event to be eligible for coverage the event organiser must either: 

  • be able to show that the event was being planned (committed to the event and the date) before 23 January 2022 or is a recurring event that can demonstrate a history of previous iterations over the last three years. These events must be registered with the scheme before the event start date, ideally at least four weeks before, or 
  • must have planning underway (committed to the event and the date) and be registered at least two months before the scheduled event start date.

Cancellations or postponements

The decision to either cancel or postpone an event should be made within four weeks of the scheduled event start date. You must notify Manatū Taonga of that decision within three days.

For events to receive financial support for a cancellation or postponement they must meet all the cancellation eligibility criteria.

Transition period

For the six weeks following a shift to Orange in the event location, registered events will be able to receive financial support for non-recoverable losses caused by reduced audience numbers. 

Note that the last transition period ended on 26 May 2022. 


Scheme Eligibility 

Each event can only be registered with Manatū Taonga once, so if there is more than one party involved in the organisation of an event you will need to agree who will submit the registration for an event. This may be the promoter, venue, producer, individual practitioner or event organiser.

Who is eligible?

If you are an event organiser planning to deliver an arts, culture and heritage event in the period up to 31 January 2023, then this scheme is for you.

You’re eligible to register if you or your organisation: 

  • are the event organiser
  • are based in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • can prove your current NZ legal status 
  • have the primary financial responsibility for delivery of the event.
  • can prove your event meets the event eligibility criteria.  

To be eligible, your event must: 

  • be an arts, culture or heritage sector event that is open to the general public
  • require all staff and attendees to follow all COVID-19 Protection Framework rules
  • be delivered within the event commitment and scheduled delivery timeframes covered by the scheme 
  • have an attendee capacity of 100 – 5000 ticketed or un-ticketed, or 5000+ un-ticketed
  • not be eligible for MBIE’s Events Transition Support Payment scheme
  • not be delivered solely by Local Government or other public authorities. 

If your event is being held indoors, the scheme allows for financial support for event cancellations or postponements if an event is delivered in a location that is at Red or in a localised lockdown, or is unable to go ahead due to your lead performer(s) being in self-isolation or having COVID-19, and 

  • the decision to cancel or postpone is made within four weeks of your event start date (unless an exemption for a longer period has been agreed with Manatū Taonga ahead of your decision), and  
  • the decision to cancel or postpone is made when the traffic light settings are not under review with a likely shift to Green before the scheduled event date.    

If your events are being held outdoors, the scheme only allows for financial support for event cancellations or postponements if an event is unable to go ahead due to your lead performer(s) being in self-isolation or having COVID-19. 

Full details are included as part of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information which is available online and as a downloadable PDF. 

Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (online)
Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (PDF 340KB)

To find additional supporting information and to start your event registration, go to the Manatū Taonga Online Portal.  


How the scheme works

Here are the steps from submitting your registration through to final payment.

1. Submit your registration

Your registration must be submitted via the Manatū Taonga Online Portal within the allowed registration timeframes.

You will need to complete the online registration form and provide the following information:

  • Proof of your current NZ Legal Status
  • Demonstrate the financial commitment to your event
  • Event budget – Financial Information Template

2. Receive a letter of commitment

This letter demonstrates that your registration has been accepted by Manatū Taonga, and your event will be financially supported if it is cancelled or postponed due to meeting the eligible criteria. 

3. Notify Manatū Taonga of the cancellation or postponement 

Registered events that are unable to go ahead must notify us within three days of making the decision to cancel or postpone an event. Please email [email protected].

4. Provide supporting evidence of non-recoverable losses

After you have notified us that your event could not go ahead, we will send you a 'request for additional information'.

You will then need to provide us with the following information:

  • Event actuals - Financial Information Template
  • Documentation to verify your actual event financial information

5. Final payment

Following receipt and assessment of all the supporting evidence, we will calculate the level of financial support and generate a Funding Agreement. A payment will be processed once the Funding Agreement has been signed by both parties.

Event organisers have overall financial responsibility for the event. They are responsible for ensuring that funds are distributed to those eligible for payment. Event organisers must work with any production companies to ensure that their employees or contractors receive full payment as if the event went ahead. 


Check your scenario

We’ve prepared some likely scenarios for different types of events including festivals, seasons, tours, gigs and non-cultural events. See if they match your situation and whether you can register.

Application scenarios for different types of events

Registered events

A list of events already registered for the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme to date can be found at this page

Further information

Full details are included as part of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information, which is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (online)
Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information (PDF 340KB)

For additional supporting information, the Financial Information Template, and to submit your event for registration go to the Manatū Taonga Online Portal


What other funding and support is available

Need other support? Explore the options. 

Our funding

The Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme supports a range of support funds, administered by Manatū Taonga and other government agencies.   

Other funding

Events Transition Support Payment scheme (ETSP)
Find funding — Creative New Zealand 
Aotearoa Touring Programme — NZ Music Commission 
Capability Grants Programme — NZ Music Commission
Waiata Māori — Mangai Paho
Grants — Recorded Music NZ 

Contact us 

Email us with any questions about the scheme or the application process.

[email protected]



Updated on 22nd June 2022