A total of $2.75 million in funding for the Winter Games
New Zealand has been announced by Economic Development Minister
Steven Joyce, enabling the two-yearly event to keep growing.
Mr Joyce said on Friday $1.5 million from the Major Events
Fund would go to the 2015 Winter Games, plus another $1.25
million for the 2017 event.
WGNZ chief executive Arthur Klap said he was delighted to
receive support from the Government, which would allow the
games to develop into new markets.
Mr Klap said he would work with the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to grow the games into key
markets, specifically Asia.
WGNZ 2017 would be a key qualifying event for the 2018 Winter
Olympics in Korea.
''What we have achieved in just three events in terms of our
standing on the world stage is nothing short of remarkable,''
Mr Klap said.
''Having the confidence of Government backing for the 2015
and 2017 events will allow us to build on this and continue
to present New Zealand at the forefront of winter sports with
all the associated economic benefits, not just for the host
region of the Southern Lakes but also New Zealand as a
A postevent analysis by the Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment showed in 2013 the event generated $7,084,146
in net economic benefit for New Zealand.
''This event generates excellent international exposure for
New Zealand, showcasing some of our most spectacular
scenery,'' Mr Joyce said.
''The games also deliver a significant economic boost for the
country, as many of the athletes choose to stay for an
extended period of time to train in New Zealand in the
lead-up to their event.
''Further investment through the Major Events Development
Fund will ensure this event continues to achieve success,
while building a platform to become independent of Government
support in the future.''
Mr Joyce said no other programme combined as many winter
sports in one event at a World Cup or Continental Cup level
and it was also the only elite winter snow sport competition
in which able bodied and adaptive athletes competed alongside
Seventeen athletes who competed in the 2013 Winter Games went
on to win medals at this year's Sochi Winter Olympics,
including five gold medals.
''Winter Games New Zealand is a home-grown event that is
consistent with the Government's strategy of investing in
events that deliver economic results and successfully
showcase New Zealand internationally as a desirable visitor
and major events destination.''