Attracting and hosting major events is a huge undertaking that brings vibrancy and lasting impact to Auckland life.

These events contribute to the regional economy and can be a catalyst for building infrastructure and social change.

ATEED’S Major Events team is responsible for ensuring Auckland continues to build and deliver a portfolio of world-class events aligned with our Major Events Strategy, improve the visitor experience and grow visitor numbers. It also manages the Major Events Fund on Auckland Council’s behalf.

In 2015/16 Auckland gained $43.7 million in new GDP from its investment in its major events portfolio. Major sporting and cultural events appeal to visitors and help make Auckland a more exciting place to live, visit and do business. They also enable us to showcase the region’s investment opportunities to international business contacts who come here for major events and conferences.

Key plans and strategies

Start to finish: how major events are delivered

The level of planning and execution that goes into major events is extremely comprehensive. ATEED’s Major Events team adds value at each stage of the end-to-end process from first securing to subsequently delivering these events.
The interlinked stages we move through focus on these areas:

  • Prospecting and bidding – identifying gaps in the long-term events calendar and how best to fill them. We work with national groups, such as New Zealand Major Events, to bid for events.
  • Feasibility – ensuring Auckland can deliver proposed events and that events receiving ATEED funding align with the Major Events Strategy.
  • Design and development – managing relationships in the major events portfolio, partnering with event organisers to maximise strategic outcomes, and managing sponsorship.
  • Operations – managing the council’s major event permitting, developing processes for an event-friendly environment and managing operational relationships, for example with the New Zealand Police.
  • Production – fulfilling the brief and producing the final event. This includes ATEED-owned events (Auckland Diwali Festival, Pasifika Festival and Auckland Lantern Festival) and programmes to maximise priority events, such as NRL Auckland Nines.
Current projects and initiatives include

ATEED successfully bid for Auckland to host the World Masters Games 2017, the pinnacle sporting event for many master-level athletes. From 21 to 30 April 2017, 25,000 athletes will converge on Auckland to attend the World Masters Games, the largest multiple-sport event in the world (exceeding even the summer Olympic Games). 

We set up a subsidiary company to plan and deliver the games and with an expected impact of $36 million on Auckland’s GDP, the World Masters Games 2017 will be the largest event New Zealand will host in the next decade.


On Auckland Anniversary Weekend 2016, ATEED partnered with Tāmaki Makaurau mana whenua to stage the first Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival at Queens Wharf. The festival successfully showcased Auckland’s unique Māori heritage and contemporary culture. Aucklanders and visitors relished the chance to see and hear leading Māori artists, paddle a waka or try traditional crafts. 

Held for the second time on Auckland Anniversary Weekend 2017, this time at Viaduct Harbour, Karanga Plaza and the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, the festival attracted 33,500 people – more than double the inaugural crowds. 

The 1100 free waka experiences booked out, more than 600 tickets were allocated for the waka hourua (ocean-going waka sailings) and 2550 people received kirituhi, or temporary facial tattoos, in the Tāmaki Makaurau Māori Tourism Space. 

The Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival is now one of Auckland’s annual cultural anchor events alongside the Auckland Lantern Festival, Pasifika Festival and Auckland Diwali Festival.

Key contacts

Stuart Turner
Head of Major Events
Contact Stuart