Local Activation Fund

Applications for the Local Activation Fund Programme have now closed.

If you have any queries regarding the programme, please check the Frequently Asked Questions section, or contact activationfund@aucklandunlimited.com

Fund Overview

We know the emotional, wellbeing and financial toll the lockdowns have had on the business community and people of Tāmaki Makaurau, and on the arts and events sectors in particular. 

This contestable fund aims to increase participation in the arts and cultural events for Auckland families, revitalising town centres again and enhancing wellbeing in our community. 

It will support the development of new programming, the enhancement of existing programming, activation and community outreach programming, and free events that will allow Aucklanders to transition out of the long period of Covid-enforced restrictions – and support the social and economic recovery of our region. 

Who can apply

Applicants can include:

• Cultural organisations and venues 
• Mana whenua and Mataawaka organisations and groups 
• Event organisers  
• Council, local boards and business improvement districts  
• Business associations  

Conditions of Funding

Your events or activities will need to comply with these requirements: 

• Take place in Auckland before 4 July 2022.
• Demonstrate potential for increased community access, participation and local engagement 
• If required, mandate the use of any regulations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) 
• If required, demonstrate how the event or activity will be delivered under CPF RED and ORANGE restrictions (depending on the proposed timing of the programme, event or activity) 
• Funding for existing events must be for increased or new content or activation, capability building or increased community accessibility. This could include extending the duration and availability of programmes, events and activities to the public. 
• For more information on the government protection framework please refer to the Covid-19 website for regular updates here.

PLEASE NOTE: Funding for expenses for existing budgeted programmes, events and activities (with no enhancements for increased community engagement or accessibility) will not be considered. 

The Application Process

Applications for the Local Activation Fund Programme have now closed.

An investment panel will be assessing your application and will make a recommendation for funding, as long as your event or activity meets the criteria. This recommendation will be assessed by a steering group with representatives from MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment), Auckland Council, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and sector representation. 

To make sure the process is fair, any local government entity that submits a funding request will not be on the panel making a decision on that request.

See an overview of the Application Form here 





April 4 Fund reopens for applications

April 11 5pm Cut off for applications requiring funding for delivery prior to July 4

May 2 Recommendations from Investment Panel to Steering Group

May 4 Steering group decision on funding applications

From May 9 Applicants notified of decisions




April 19 5pm Cut off for applications requiring funding for delivery prior to July 4

May 12 Recommendations from Investment Panel to Steering Group

May 17 Steering group decision on funding applications

From May 19 Applicants notified of decisions

Applications for the Local Activation Fund Programme have now closed.

If your questions are not answered by the FAQs below, please contact activationfund@aucklandunlimited.com


FAQs related to the programme resuming on 4 April 2022

Applications to the Local Activation Fund Programme have now closed.

If you applied for the programme between 4 April and 11 April 2022, the Local Activation Fund Programme team will notify you of decisions from 9 May 2022 onwards.

If you applied for the programme between 12 April and 19 April 2022, the Local Activation Fund Programme team will notify you of decisions from 19 May 2022 onwards.

Unfortunately, applications do not extend automatically. We request that regardless of whether or not you have applied for the Local Activation Fund Programme before, please submit a new application according to the new timelines for Phase 2 or Phase 3, i.e by April 11 5pm or April 18 5pm. Please note all events need to be completed by 4 July 2022.

Unfortunately, the Local Activation Fund Programme does not support retrospective activities or events. However, we welcome new applications to be submitted according to the new timelines for Phase 2 and Phase 3 as stated on the programme’s website.

Yes, you can apply for any activity or event that can commence within 3 months of the programme recommencing on 4 April 2022, even if you have received the Local Activation Fund before.

As part of the application process, applicants are required to provide suitable planning of their events or activities, according to the requisites of the Red Level and the Orange Level settings of the COVID 19 Protection Framework.

You can re-apply for any activity or event that you may have applied for before the fund was paused, as long as the activity or event can commence within 3 months of the programme recommencing on 4 April 2022.

We have taken into consideration feedback from applicants about the previous timelines for the programme before it was paused. With the short timeframe for the activity/event to be completed within 3 months of the recommencement of the programmes from 4 April 2022, the two quick funding rounds will provide successful applicants with a decision sooner, giving them more planning time to deliver their event/activity.

Unfortunately, these timelines cannot be extended. As part of the Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Support Package the Local Activation Fund programme recommenced on 4 April 2022 for three months until 4 July 2022. The programme had been paused for public health reasons during the peak of the Omicron outbreak. The last date to apply for the Local Activation Fund Programme is Tuesday, 19 April, for events and activities that can be delivered prior to 4 July 2022.

Once you submitted an application, you should have received an automated email response with a link to your application. You can use this link to review your application and add more information if necessary until the close off period for applications 5pm 19 April 2022.

If you received the Local Activation Fund and haven’t been contacted by our team yet, please email activationfund@aucklandunlimited.com and a Local Activation Fund Programme team member will contact you.


The $10 million Local Activation Programme is a contestable fund that has been created to support summer programming for organisations like business associations, mana whenua, mataawaka, community groups, cultural organisations, and event organisations.

The fund aims to increase participation in the arts and cultural events for Auckland families, revitalising town centres and enhancing wellbeing in our community, while stimulating economic activity for these sectors.

It is part of a wider $25.5 million Government support package, with targeted support options for our Auckland events, attractions, facilities, cultural venues and programmes. The broader support package includes:

• The $10 million Local Activation Programme: a contestable fund to support events and activities at regional and local levels

• A $12 million voucher and discount programme, Explore Tāmaki Makaurau this summer, to encourage families and whānau to visit Auckland attractions, facilities and cultural venues this summer

• $2.5 million for a destination marketing campaign to promote Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland to locals and encourage visitors from outside the Auckland region.

This new, contestable Local Activation Programme fund is aimed at drawing Aucklanders to their local and town centres and increasing the participation of Aucklanders in arts and cultural events and activities over the summer.

Centres and the arts and cultural sector have been hard hit by COVID-19, and by providing funding opportunities specifically for programmes, events and activities, the fund aims to enhance wellbeing in our community while stimulating economic activity especially for the arts and cultural sector.

The Local Activation Programme fund is different from the Activate Tāmaki Makaurau programme – this is the delivery programme for the $60m Auckland business support package announced by the Government in late October 2021. Auckland businesses can access business advice, support to put new or existing business advice into action, health and wellbeing support, and business community resources.

Detailed information about eligibility criteria, applications and the different parts of the programme is available at Activate Tāmaki Makaurau.

Those who can apply include cultural organisations and venues, mana whenua and mataawaka organisations and groups, event organisers, Council, local boards and business improvement districts, business associations and community groups.

Yes – and this type of collaboration is encouraged provided the activity meets the overall criteria. For example, a business association can partner with a community group on an activity, and a funding application can include the costs of an event company to deliver the activity.

Organisations will need to be able to demonstrate increased participation and local engagement, as well as how planned activities can safely be delivered under the Covid Protection Framework to prioritise public health, with all activities requiring vaccination passes.

Please see the criteria on the main webpage for details.

The fund will include a wide variety of events and activities, the main criteria is that they are free for the public to attend.

Examples could include Christmas markets and activity, extending festivals or events that have been disrupted by COVID-19, additional programming around cultural festivals or activities on the summer calendar, such as performance hubs or community activation, supporting UNESCO City of Music programme development, new theatre pieces, commissioning new exhibitions, displays and programming by cultural organisations and venues – and more.

The activities, events or programmes will need to be delivered between 4 April 2022 to 4 July 2022.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel with representatives from Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Council, MBIE and an independent representative.

Applications to these programmes have now closed. Phase 2 applicants will be notified of decisions from 9 May 2022 and Phase 3 applicants will be notified of decisions from 19 May 2022. All events need to be delivered by 4 July 2022.

Where an application originates from an organisation affiliated with any representative on the review panel, those representatives will be excused from the panel for the relevant application.

Paid ticketed events are not eligible to apply for funding for the costs of the event but may apply for funding to provide free entry to the event for targeted groups.

That funding can only be for the costs of providing that free entry, not the value of the ticket.

Additional reporting may be required if the application is successful.

No – discounted ticketing is not eligible for funding through this programme.

Yes – the fund recognises that delivery under the framework creates additional expenses to ensure the event can go ahead and these expenses are eligible for funding.

Yes. You can either apply for a programme of activities, or you can submit individual applications for each event or activity.

In the application form, we ask for dates, and number of occurrences. If there are multiple iterations of the same activity, you can list the dates and then provide an overview of all the activity.

Yes – provided they are specific to the delivery of the event or activity.

Yes – all expenses that are relevant to the actual delivery of an event or activity are eligible for funding.

As part of our support for local activations (and depending on your event or activity) it could be wrapped into our Auckland-wide "Summer is Calling" campaign; and will be featured on our events calendar.

If you are able to provide information and budgets on your marketing spend for your event, we will assess and consider support towards this.

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s place brand is all about what makes our region unique. By aligning our communications and marketing to the brand themes, we can collectively tell a consistent and authentic story about Auckland that people can connect with emotionally.

The Auckland Playbook on the brand webpage describes the four brand themes mentioned in the application form in more detail.

• He whaitua whai wairuatanga - Region of Wairuatanga (Māori values, life essence)

• He tōpūtanga ao - Collective worlds (Bicultural, multicultural, unity in diversity)

• He wāhi whakakaupapa - Playground for ideas (Inspiration and innovation, young and welcoming, good growth)

• He whakamarutanga ā-tāone - Urban oasis (Balance, quality of life, restorative city)

See more here about the Auckland Playbook and brand themes here.

If your event or activity aligns with one or more of the brand themes, together we can build the brand of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. It also helps us weave your attraction or activity into campaigns such as Auckland is Calling which promotes Tāmaki Makuaurau to locals and visitors.

Applications to replace lost revenue will not be eligible, but applications can be made for the cost of activities or content that are at risk due to lost revenue.

For example, if an activity is at risk of cancelling performers due to lost funding it can apply for the funding for the actual costs of those performers impacted rather than the value of the lost funding.

No – virtual events are not eligible for funding through this programme.

An overview of the marketing plan for the activity and a budget will need to be submitted along with the application.