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Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme

The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme is a fund of up to $22.5 million to help provide confidence for the arts and culture events sector to continue organising their events in the coming summer months.  

It is part of the $37.5 million Delta Relief package announced in September 2021 by Hon Carmel Sepuloni to help address immediate relief needs in the arts and culture sector.

This Scheme is about providing certainty for event organisers, confidence for vaccinated New Zealanders to attend and enjoy events, and reassurance for artists and crew that they can get paid if their events can’t go ahead as planned.

For detailed information on the Scheme, download the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information [PDF 391KB]. We strongly recommend that all event organisers read this guidance before submitting your event for registration to the Scheme.

To find additional supporting information and to submit your event for registration to the Scheme go to Manatū Taonga Online Portal.


General Information

The Scheme provides cover for event organisers to be able to recoup the non-recoverable losses of an event which is unable to be delivered at the scheduled time and location due to the event location being at ‘Red’ in the COVID-19 Protection Framework or under a government mandated local lockdown.

The scheme focuses on helping with the costs of not being able to deliver the event on the scheduled dates, regardless of whether the event is cancelled or postponed.     

The Scheme covers:

  • Non-recoverable event costs such as cancellation fees or non-refundable deposits that have already been paid or are owing to suppliers (i.e. venue or equipment hire deposits)
  • Reasonable costs incurred by the event organiser in the planning and development of the event.
  • Full payments for artists, performers and production crew as if the event had occurred.

Support of up to $300,000 is available per eligible event. Events must be scheduled to take place between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 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.

To be eligible, an event must: 

  • Be an arts and cultural sector event, where the audience has chosen to attend the event primarily for the purpose of seeing performances or presentations of art or culture
  • Be scheduled to take place between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022 and be able to demonstrate a financial commitment to the scheduled event dates as of 29 November 2021 (the day before the Scheme was announced)
  • Have an attendee capacity of 100 – 5,000 ticketed or un-ticketed, or 5,000+ un-ticketed (i.e. free). 
  • Not be eligible for the Events Transition Support Payment scheme, administered by MBIE, which is designed to support larger, paid-ticketed events with over 5,000 attendees
  • Be based in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Be able to provide proof of the organisation’s current status, and/or a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) for Sole Traders
  • Not be delivered or funded solely by Local government or other public authorities. However, events can be partly funded by these entities
  • Require all attendees to hold a current COVID Vaccine Pass and follow all COVID-19 Protection Framework rules.

For the purposes of the Scheme, Arts and culture events include, but are not limited to:  

  • Gigs   
  • Music Festivals   
  • Performing Arts   
  • Exhibitions (that are reliant on ticket sales to cover costs)   
  • Cultural Festivals   
  • The performance component of a non-cultural festival where the performance is a major audience draw.   

For the purposes of the Scheme, Arts and culture events exclude, but are not limited to:   

  • Karaoke/open mic   
  • Food and wine festivals and events   
  • Sports events   
  • Business events, conferences and workshops   
  • Normal museum and gallery operations   
  • Lifestyle expos.   

The Scheme focuses on helping with the costs of not being able to deliver the event on the scheduled dates, regardless of whether the event is cancelled or postponed.     

Please contact us at [email protected] if you require information in a different format or you have further questions about the Scheme or the registration process.

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


Registering your event

To be covered by the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, event organisers must register their event with Manatū Taonga and have received confirmation of their event’s eligibility in advance of the scheduled event date.  

  • Events scheduled between 17 December 2021 and 17 January 2022 should pre-register at least 10 days before the first day of their event
  • Events between 18 January 2021 and 3 April 2022 should pre-register at least 21 days before the first day of their event.

Registrations for events happening earlier will be given priority.

To complete your registration, you will need to have completed the online registration form and attached the following supporting documents:

  • Proof that your event delivery was committed on or before 29 November 2021
  • Event Registration - Financial Details Template 
  • For Sole Traders - Evidence of legal status such as your NZBN number.

We strongly recommend you read the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme Supporting Information [PDF 391KB] before registering your event with Manatū Taonga. 

To find additional supporting information, the financial details template, and to submit your event for registration to the Scheme go to the Manatū Taonga Online Portal. 


See also 

Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme 

Manatū Taonga is leading the suite of initiatives in partnership with funded agencies and sector stakeholders, to deliver the total of $374 million over four years. This includes both short-term relief and emergency relief to respond to the Delta outbreak and longer-term support to assist the arts, culture and heritage to maintain its critical role and contribution to Aotearoa.   

Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund 

The Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund is a $5 million fund of last resort which provides support for cultural organisations, including sole traders, at clear risk of no longer operating viably. 


Updated on 20th January 2022