TSB Festival of Lights injects over $8 million into the Taranaki economy during summer

Local Our Work Featured news

NPDC’s free TSB Festival of Lights kept the tills ringing this summer with five-week event pumping $8.3 million into the Taranaki economy according to an independent report just released.


A post-event analysis study by Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) has confirmed New Zealand’s Leading Light Festival continues to be hit with locals and visitors with more than 140,000 people attending – the most ever. And around 28 per cent of visitors were from outside the Taranaki region.


The 2022/2023 TSB Festival of Lights ran between 17 December 2022 to 22 January 2023, in the iconic Pukekura Park in the heart of New Plymouth city. It featured 13 new light installations, 96 performances, two regional pop-up events at Inglewood and Waitara.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s no surprise to him the event is such a success, and the results are something everyone involved should be proud of.


“It’s always amazing and this summer it was exceptional with a lot of new light installations and great free entertainment in the stunning Pukekura Park, attracting both locals and out of town visitors.

“It’s one of those events on everyone’s must-do list and attracts people to our region in droves, which is great for the local economy, keeping the tills ringing and contributes to creating our Sustainable Lifestyle Capital during really tough financial times.


“A big thank you to our team for making it a highlight of summer,” says Holdom.


The return on investment is impressive for an event which costs around $1m to deliver. Other key findings of the BERL report were:

  • 38,599 or 28% of total visits were from outside the region.
  • 38,786 nights that visitors stayed were attributed to the festival.
  • 70 per cent of visitors said they visited the region to attend the festival.
  • 92 per cent overall satisfaction from visitors.
  • 100 per cent satisfaction from event performers and entertainers.
  • 70 per cent of waste diverted from landfill.

Fast facts

  • In 2022, TSB Festival of Lights won two New Zealand Event Association Awards from their 2021 season, including Best Government Event 2021 and New Zealand’s Favourite Event (as voted by the public).
  • Up to 9,000 people attend the festival’s free New Year’s Eve event.
  • TSB Festival of Lights: Winter Pop-up debuted their first CBD event in 2022 over Matariki Weekend and saw a 92% satisfaction rate from visitors.


Caption: Evanescent, one of 13 new light installations at the TSB Festival of Lights. Photo Charlotte Curd.