Nelson Events Strategy

Your guide to events in Nelson, New Zealand

What is the Nelson Events Marketing and Development Programme?

    For enquiries regarding the ItsOn website or the Nelson Events Marketing and Development Programme, please contact
    Rebecca Leach, at the Nelson Regional Development Agency, Ph: 03 923 2055

The Nelson Events Strategy and the Nelson Events Marketing & Development Programme

    The underlying objective of the Nelson Events Strategy is to stimulate Nelson City’s economy by bringing new spending through visitors coming to Nelson for distinct events in the shoulder and off season.


  • The Nelson Events Marketing & Development Programme has been established to implement the Nelson Events Strategy.
  • The Programme is funded by the Nelson City Council, with the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency being the lead agency responsible for implementation of the programme.
  • The Programme is overseen by the Events Management Committee, comprising representatives from the Nelson City Council, Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency and Nelson Tasman Tourism.

Successful Events to Date

EventDate of EventReason for Successful Sponsorship
MarchFest 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
MarchFest celebrates the Nelson region’s unique position as NZ’s sole hop growing region and its status as the epicenter of NZ craft brewing industry. The event also features local wines, regional cuisine, eclectic music and family friendly activities.
Art Expo Nelson 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
This event showcases and promotes the work of esstablished and emerging Nelson artists and attracts art buyers and dealers from around NZ and generates direct art sales to the public.
The Nelson Winter Festival 2009, 2010 & 2011 The festival features local and national performers and attracts visitors from Auckland and Wellington in Nelson's quietest season. It runs over a three week period, with the emphasis on the weekends, promoting "Nelson by Day, Music by Night".
World Movie Premiere for Kiwi Flyer 2012 The movie Kiwi Flyer was filmed and set in Nelson NZ and will be released internationally. Hosting the World Premiere in Nelson will generate extensive media promotion and have a positive impact on Nelson's regional profile and identity.
Sanctuary Run (formerly Escape from Tane's Forest) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
This trail event takes place in and around the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. Over half the competitors that attend come from outside the Nelson Tasman region.
Taste Nelson 2011, 2013
This family-friendly festival celebrates all things Nelson - food, wine, seafood, beer, art and craft with a backdrop of music and entertainment. It is anticipated that over time Taste Nelson has the ability to grow significantly and attract visitors to Nelson.
Bikefest (formally Nelson Cycle Festival)
2011, 2012, 2015
Bikefest acts as the marketing umbrella for a multitude of cycling events that attract cyclists from all over New Zealand. Bikefest aims to raise the profile of Nelson/Tasman as a cycling mecca and the 'heart of cycling' in NZ.
South Island Masters Games Oct 2011, 2013, 2015
These games attracted nearly 3,000 participants with 45% of those attending from outside the region. The games have been running for 10 years in Christchurch and Timaru, and are scheduled to run in Nelson in 2011 and 2013.
Oi You! Urban Art Exhibition Oct 2011 This exhibition of urban art attracted significant media attention showcasing Nelson to the world with over 15,000 people from NZ and overseas visiting the exhibition.
Light Nelson 2013, 2014 A collaboration of art, science and technology to develop works that respond to darkness through illuminated installations and performances in the Queen's Gardens, Chinese Gardens and Albion Square.
Hockey NZ Men's & Women's Test Matches
2014, 2015
These events presented the opportunity for hockey international test matches to be played in Nelson (The men for the first time in 60+ years). The events showcase the world class hockey complex at Saxton Field and give Nelson the opportunity to demonstrate its ability to successfully host international sporting events.
Last Night at the Proms with Dame Malvina Major
2014 A popular brass concert held over 3 days with special guest Dame Malvina Major. Since Dame Malvina now performs infrequently the concert attracted visitors from Marlborough, West Coast and the North Island.

National Pipe Band Championships
2015 The Championships brought over 2000 competitors and supporters to Nelson for the weekend.


Programme Overview:

Sponsorship funding:

Events held within the Nelson City Council boundaries are eligible to apply for funding, provided they meet the Application Requirements and have synergy with the Guiding Principles.
If you are holding an event in Tasman District, although not eligible for funding from the events programme, we would be delighted to talk with you about how Nelson Tasman Tourism can assist you with further promotion of your event as your regional tourism organisation
The Events Management Committee is responsible for assessing applications and allocating sponsorship funds.
Events which are NOT eligible for Funding:

  • Community Events
  • One-off National School Age Sporting Events
  • Events which do not build on the uniqueness of the region
  • Events which are not or do not have the capability to become self-sustaining
  • Events which are not unique to the region, do not generate or enhance the regional profile, which are not supported by and do not support local industry
  • Events which do not have a sound business plan or marketing strategy to attract visitors from outside the region.

Sponsorship Funding Application Dates

Sponsorship Funding application forms must be received by the following dates to ensure inclusion in the next round of funding assessments.

  • 1st February 2015
  • 1st June 2015
  • 1st August 2015
  • 1st November 2015

    Sponsorship Funding for Signatory & Major Events

    Download: Application Process

    Sponsorship Funding for One-Off Events

    Contact the Events Marketing & Development Coordinator at the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency for these documents.

    Other Industry Tools and Resources

    Industry tools and resources have been developed to help support all event organisers in wider Nelson Tasman region, including:

    The Nelson Tasman Events Website:
    The Event Organisers Handbook:
    The Event Planning Directory:
    Event Scheduling Assistance:

    More Information

      For further information regarding the Nelson Events Marketing and Development Programme, please contact
      Rebecca Leach at the Nelson Regional Development Agency NRDA Ph: 03 923 2055