03 Dec 2010

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REAL NZ Festival Lottery Fund boosts events for RWC 2011

New Zealand’s biggest-ever festival, which will run in conjunction with Rugby World Cup 2011, has grown even larger following the allocation of Lottery Grants Board funding to 195 projects.

The REAL New Zealand Festival will highlight the country’s arts and culture, food and wine, heritage, entertainment, and lifestyle throughout next year’s tournament, which is expected to attract 85,000 international visitors. The newly-funded projects will bring the total number of festival events to well over 500, stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Sir David Gascoigne, who chaired the specially-formed Festival Lottery Fund Committee tasked with allocating $9.48 million in funding, said the calibre of applications had been impressive, and with applications for 570 projects totalling over $76 million, the committee’s task had been extremely difficult.

“When the Prime Minister first announced the fund, it quickly became evident that New Zealanders wanted to get involved in this chance to celebrate all that is great about our country.

“The number of applications forced some very hard decisions, especially as the diversity and coverage across New Zealand of many projects were impressive. We have worked hard to ensure a good mix of programmes, and to support projects that showcase local regions, or highlight a town's stories, people and special features."

Twenty-three centres will host games or teams during RWC 2011, and while the hubs of the REAL NZ Festival will centre on match and host cities, and cluster around match dates, the festival programme will touch almost every part of the country and fill the full 45 days of the tournament. With plenty of time between matches, visitors are being encouraged to ‘take the long way round’ as they travel between venues to experience as much of the country as possible during their stay.

Sir David said because many successful applicants had been offered less funding than requested, they now had two months to consider whether their projects could proceed with the lower level of funding. Staff from the REAL New Zealand Festival office would work with applicants if they required help in those determinations.

“Once this process is completed, we’ll make a full announcement of all successful applicants. We aim to complete the process and announce the projects in February 2011.”

To find out more about the REAL New Zealand Festival, including more about the events as they develop, visit www.realnzfestival.com.

For more information, contact:

Anna Thomson
Communications Manager
New Zealand 2011 Office
04 978 7483
021 242 6918


Q & As

What is the REAL New Zealand Festival?
The REAL New Zealand Festival is a nationwide festival that runs from 9 September-23 October 2011 and complements the Rugby World Cup 2011 match and team hosting schedule.

The festival’s comprehensive programme celebrates the aspects of New Zealand that Kiwis are most proud of – events and experiences that present the real New Zealand and showcase our people, landscapes, culture and stories. It is being held throughout the country, extending well beyond the 23 centres that are hosting teams and games.

Who is running the festival?
The festival is being coordinated by the New Zealand 2011 Office, working closely with Rugby New Zealand 2011, the Tournament organisers. The events and experiences in the Festival programme are being developed by the communities, towns and cities of New Zealand – Councils, event organisers, iwi groups, sports organisations, theatre companies, arts organisations, tourism offices and local businesses are engaged. REAL New Zealand Festival Director Briony Ellis is working closely with Regional Steering Groups around the country to develop a nationwide programme which gives every region the opportunity to showcase itself to the world.

Who administers the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund?
The Department of Internal Affairs’ Lottery Grants Board administers the fund through the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund Committee.

Who is the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund Committee?
The NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund Committee is made up of some of the members of the 2011 Group: Bob Parker, Sir David Gascoigne, Bob Harvey, Sharon Hunter and Wally Stone.

What was the process for evaluating applications?
The NZ 2011 Office managed the hundreds of applications and developed a rigorous evaluation and assessment process for each project proposal. They employed the services of 11 independent subject matter experts, who were involved in the evaluation and assessment process. Every application was reviewed by two to five people, after which their findings were then collated, and delivered to the NZ 2011 Festival Lottery Fund Committee. That Committee considered the papers and then met on November 11 and 12 to decide the outcome of the funding process.

How many different regions were given funding?
Funding was allocated to regions throughout New Zealand : Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Eastland, Hawke’s Bay, Central Plateau, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wellington, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

Where and when is the festival being held?
The REAL New Zealand Festival runs from 9 September-23 October 2011 and will complement the Rugby World Cup 2011 match and team hosting schedule. The festival is being held throughout the country, extending well beyond the 23 centres that are hosting teams and games.

Does every Rugby World Cup have a festival like this?
Previous events have had festivals, but this is the first time a single, nationwide, coordinated festival has ever been staged alongside the Rugby World Cup and it’s the first time a festival has been held over one six-week period across all of New Zealand.

Is the festival aimed only at overseas visitors?
The festival will certainly enrich the experience of our visitors, giving them plenty of reasons to take the long way round between matches. But it is for locals and visitors alike. Many New Zealanders will be travelling during RWC 2011 and the festival will give them a chance to discover more about their own country and celebrate everything that makes our country so special.

How can people get involved?
If you want to organise an event for the festival, contact your local RWC Regional Coordination Group, or the REAL New Zealand Festival directly, on info@nz2011.govt.nz. Contact details are online at www.nz2011.govt.nz.
If you want to attend festival events, keep watching the www.nz2011.govt.nz website for information.