Part of the Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Support Package announced by the Government in December – the Local Activation Fund Programme and Discount Programme have successfully contributed to the cultural, social and mental wellbeing of Aucklanders by supporting events and activities across the region.  

Nearly 300,000 Aucklanders were able to enjoy over 140 events and activities across Tāmaki Makaurau, including 25 special events celebrating the Matariki Festival. 

Administered by Auckland’s economic and cultural agency, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the programmes opened for applications on 8 December to support events and activities until 3 March with three funding phases. However, due to a change in the alert level of the COVID 19 Protection Framework in January, the programmes were paused and resumed in April to support activity until 4 July.   

The Local Activation Fund Programme approved 135 applications with a total investment of $ 7,395,818. 

The Discount Programme supported 15 successful applicants with a total investment of $1,374,764. 

The TAU team worked hard to support event organisers traversing the challenges of the programme pausing, which made it difficult to book talent, secure venues and deliver events within the short timeframes.  

“We are pleased that the programmes could support event organisers who have been impacted by the pandemic while enabling Aucklanders across the city to enjoy cultural events once again, get free or discounted access to attractions they may have never visited before, or try out new activities”, says Pam Ford, Director of Investment and Industry – Tātaki Auckland Unlimited. 

“The response from event attendees as well as organisers has been overwhelming. Even though the programmes closed on 4 July, some activities and events sparked by the funding will carry on as legacy projects for the community, rangatahi and all Aucklanders” says Ford. 

“The Local Activation Fund Programme – the name was appropriate –– the community was ‘activated’ to leave the fear behind and come out and reconnect” says Linda Clapham MNZM, CEO, Te Hana Community Development Charitable Trust 

“Within our community, it has been very tough over the years. Some are very isolated and in need of healing. Inspired by the fund, we organised the Te Hana Te Ao Marama – Creative Carving Expressions workshops at the marae, after nearly a decade”.  

“We had not anticipated the response.  Over 300 people from as far as Whangaparaoa, Henderson and Mangawhai came out to try their hands at the Ngāti Whātua style of carving and listen to stories, myths and legends. Most of them did not know each other when they arrived”.  

“The carving Studio that we built at short notice for the event has become a weekend workshop for an informal carving group.  A Marae Social Hub has formed. Schools have approached the marae for rangatahi to be engaged with carving as a pathway to re-engage with the community”. 

“The community was hungry for connection.  Funding projects of a creative nature are very valuable for mental health and wellbeing. We are so thankful” says Linda 

Matariki Vibes at Takaparawhau ki Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei was another successful Local Activation Fund Programme-supported event that drew over 10,000 pax through the day.  

“To be recognised as an independent event in the first year of Matariki celebration was a great honour”, says event organiser Pirpi Menary.  “ As a Maori organisation, I am thankful  to be able to deliver to our Maori-Pasifika people and give back to our communities” 

 A lasting outcome of the event for Piripi has been the full-time employment of seven young Maori and Pasifika workers who he had specially recruited from cultural groups and maraes for the event, with some of his suppliers. 

Industry feedback from the Discount Programme has been equally positive.  

 “We were so very grateful for this opportunity. It has been both a lifeline and a wonderful chance to share our work and spread a little joy. It was extra special that some of the groups and communities who benefitted may not otherwise have had the chance to visit us,” says Jack Downing, Head of Tourism, Wētā Workshop. 


Local Activation Fund Programme 

  • As part of the Reactivate Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland support package, the Local Activation Fund Programme was a $10 million contestable fund aimed to increase participation in the arts and cultural events for Auckland families, revitalising town centres again and enhance wellbeing in our community.   
  • Those eligible to apply for funding included - Cultural organisations and venues, Mana Whenua and Mataawaka organisations and groups, event organisers, Auckland Council facilities, local boards and business improvement districts, and Business associations.   
  • It supported 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 the region.   
  • Over 220,000 Aucklanders attended events supported by the Local Activation Fund Programme. 

Discount Programme 

  • As part of the Reactivate Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland support package, the Discount Programme was a $3 million contestable fund aimed to increase participation in the arts and cultural events for Auckland families, revitalising town centres again and enhance wellbeing in our community.  
  • The discounts would be passed directly to Aucklanders for free or discounted access to venues, activities, or programmes where Aucklanders would usually have to pay to participate or enter.   
  • Those eligible to apply for funding included - Cultural and recreational facilities owned or operated by community groups, commercial recreational facilities operating primarily to provide recreation for Auckland community groups, residents, and families, Auckland Council owned or operated facilities, or those operating under a lease agreement with private operators and Auckland Council owned or aligned transportation operators providing free or discounted transport for Auckland residents. 
  • Approximately 62,000 Aucklanders benefited from discounts or free entry to facilities around the region.