Facts & Figures

  • $500kProposed additional annual grant

The festival is New Zealand’s premier arts and cultural event. It’s currently held every two years, and attracts world class line-ups of performers. 

Silhouette of jazz saxophonist.

They bring many thousands of visitors to the city and expose locals to compelling, graceful, witty, fresh and challenging performances, artists and experiences.

It’s a centrepiece of the city’s status as a cultural and arts capital. The "off year" leaves a gap in the city’s events calendar and means we are missing out on the economic and cultural returns from the quality events that the festival can attract.

We propose increasing our grant to allow it to grow its existing programme, attract new audiences, and develop more "off-year" events or shows in the city.


  • Greater access to world class performances.
  • Strengthen Wellington’s identity and culture as one of creativity.


  • The proposal is to provide an additional annual grant of $500,000. This complements the New Zealand Festival's own success at raising the majority of its funding from ticket sales and other sources.

What you think

77% Feedback received that supports our overall plan

77 Number of times people have told us what they think about this idea

87% Feedback received that supports this idea

#6 Out of 28 ideas based on amount of feedback received.

Who would benefit most?

24% Local residents
24% Local businesses
22% Visitors to Wellington
17% NZ as a whole
13% Future generations
  • Local residents
  • Local businesses
  • Visitors to Wellington
  • NZ as a whole
  • Future generations
  • Other

How should we prioritise it?

61% High
22% Quite high
9% Low
6% Neutral
1% Quite low
  • Quite low
  • Low
  • Neutral
  • Quite high
  • High
  • Ange, Kelburn

    This is a comparatively small investment which will have huge benefits to our civic pride, arts community and for Wellington.

  • Anonymous, Strathmore Park

    With Auckland's festival now annual, it's essential that Wellington does not lose its key point of difference and position as the arts and culture capital. I understand that events of all kinds should be a focus, but Wellington's brand has been successfully tied to the arts in the past (in line with similar positioning in Melbourne). Our brand has been a sophisticated one. Replacing support for the Arts Festival with a focus on the Sevens, and similar big events, will further diminish our arts brand and attraction as a destination for visitors.

  • Lisa, Mount Cook

    The festival has been important for the city. Happy to see it being extended.

  • Arthur

    The festival is iconic. I love the city when it's on. It deserves and needs to be supported.

  • Faye

    The festival is fantastic and I do enjoy attending some of the shows but there is only so much discretionary money that people have. I would support this if the economy was going well but it is not at the moment.

  • Anne, Wadestown

    One of the reasons the Festival is successful (and that can be pretty marginal some years) is that it ISN'T held every year - people look forward to it and make sure they get seats because it'll be another 2 years before we have the chance again. This is a small city. Auckland has this 'off' year run it's own arts festival and I view that as complementary to Wellingtons'. Don't get into a competition, that's just chasing our tails. We have a lot of smaller festivals - the jazz festival etc - already.

  • Steve, Mount Cook

    Additional funding is required in order to attract more world class events to this festival. Unfortunately the emergence of the Auckland festival has taken away some of the lustre of the NZ festival and it needs rejuvenation.