Winter Games NZ is almost certain to go annual from 2018.

Organisers have secured $1 million-a-year in government funding for the next four years.

And they’ve already landed the FIS Freeski and Snowboard Junior World Championships as the 2018 centrepiece.

The Games, currently every two years, are held across Queenstown and Wanaka’s skifields.

Outgoing Games boss Arthur Klap says: “It’s super-close.

“We’ve a board meeting on November 27 and a definite decision will be made then.

“But the draft plans are done for next year – we have the programme in place and just need the final sign-off on one component of the financial picture.”

Thrashing out the details of commercial support through to 2021 is the final piece of the puzzle.

Audi quattro are currently naming sponsors.

The $1m-a-year government funding represents about a quarter of the cost of putting on the Games, which is attended by many northern hemisphere national ski teams.

It will bring its total contribution to $9m since 2008.

The 2017 Games welcomed 930 Kiwi and international athletes.

Many of them, including Queenstown snowboarder Tiarn Collins (see right), have been selected for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February.

Klap says that’s part of the overall plan.

“The Games provide an international platform and complement fantastic local programmes – especially at Cardrona.”

Klap says on average the budget is about $4.4m.

He says it’s a “major achievement” to secure 14 years of support from government body New Zealand Major Events, which is meant to be for a maximum of three.

“But what the government has recognised is an event like the Winter Games provides such a huge economic benefit for New Zealand and the region, they get the return on their investment.”

Klap says the financial reports on 2017 Games, held August 25 to September 10, are due soon but it’s shaping up to be the best year so far.