The Wellington Regional Amenities Fund (WRAF) focused on arts, cultural and environmental organisations that delivered activities that support the fund priorities, thereby contributing to the attractiveness, vitality and well-being of the Wellington Region. Arts, cultural and environmental organisations of regional significance were supported for operational funding, capital funding or project funding for activities that benefited the region.
Each participating local Council contributed to the fund on a per capita basis until the end of 2019-20 when through the Annual Plan processes Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils redirected funding to local recovery funding initiatives.
In March 2017 the Joint Committee agreed to a more strategic and proactive approach to the fund, with a focus on regionally significant organisations and on projects and events that have regional impact. This built on the 2016 fund review which emphasised the importance of the fund in supporting organisations (events and projects) that are 'regionally significant' - which deliver identified strategic priorities for the region around; economic growth, regional connectedness and competitive advantage.
In 2016 a detailed evaluation of the grant activity in the first four years of the fund was undertaken, which looked into the economic and social benefits delivered by the fund in the region – Executive summary (1.9MB PDF)
In 2018/19 the Joint Committee agreed to support a smaller number of organisations in order to achieve maximum impact in the region in line with fund priorities. The Joint Committee allocated $600,000 to support The Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival (February 2019). The remaining funding available in 2018/19 was allocated in September 2018 to four organisations along with allocations in the subsequent two financial years (2019/20 and 2020/21).
WRAF contributions for 2019/20 were confirmed for all Councils with the exception of Kāpiti Coast District Council who withdrew from the fund in their 2019/20 Annual Plan.
In 2020/21 Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils redirected funding to local recovery programmes in response to the impact of COVID-19. Wellington City Council is working with organisations delivering events and programmes in the city to provide support through existing budgets.
Mark Farrar, Team Leader Funding and Relationships