Funding for Māori Heritage

The Government’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme supports iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to protect their mātauranga and taonga from the impact and on-going threat of Covid-19.


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Image: Arini Poutu Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taongaexpand/collapse

Arts and Culture Covid Recovery Programme 

The Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme provides $20 million over two years to fund at least 18 diverse initiatives which will support iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to safeguard at-risk mātauranga from the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga received $2 million in funding.  Our funding initiatives are:

Whaihanga | Revitalising Māori built heritage conservation mātauranga
Ngā Riu o Ngā Tūpuna | Revitalising Mātauranga Māori in ancestral landscapes.


Pouhere Taonga Mātauranga Māori Funding

Co-ordinating agency: Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Whaihanga | Revitalising Māori built heritage conservation mātauranga

This programme and associated small grants will focus on collaborative projects with iwi, hapū, marae hapori, tohunga and kaitiaki to support and revitalise vulnerable areas of mātauranga relating to built forms. Delivery of the programme will be through pūkenga-led wānanga to develop practices and knowledge within community networks.

Place-based wānanga will be developed for varied kaupapa which include the mātauranga surrounding traditional arts and whare construction, mahinga kai, māra kai and waka.

Ngā Riu o Ngā Tūpuna | Revitalising Mātauranga Māori in ancestral landscapes

This programme and associated small grants will focus on collaborative projects with iwi, hapū, marae hapori, tohunga and kaitiaki to support and revitalise mātauranga relating to Wāhi Tapu and Wāhi Tūpuna.

Delivery of the programme will be through pūkenga-led wānanga, research, on-site interpretation, cultural mapping and hīkoi to revitalise ancestral landscape histories, pūrakau and pakiwaitara.

Contestable funding applications 

The contestable funding applications will be open in 2021.


Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund

Co-ordinating Agency:  Department of Internal Affairs.

The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund will support marae communities to protect their mātauranga and taonga.

Applications must align with one or more of the following:

  • Activities lead to greater retention, protection, revitalisation and transmission of mātauranga on the marae.
  • Traditional art form and hanga whare mātauranga and practices are retained, revitalised, and strengthened on the marae.
  • Sustainable care and protection of the marae’s taonga and mātauranga is enhanced and developed.
  • Marae and the wider whānau are engaged and work together to progress marae cultural aspirations.

Read the Application Information Guide. Rolling deadlines - applications submitted after round closing dates will be considered for the following funding round.

Regional Advisors are available to assist with applications on 0800 824 824 or by email matauranga.maori@dia.govt.nz

This fund is in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs (Lottery Grants Board) and Te Puni Kōkiri.


Te Tahua Whakakaha | Cultural Sector Capability Fund

Co-ordinating Agency:  Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage

Total Funding: $20million
Period: 2 years
Contestable Funding: Up to $750,000.

Round 1 – Opened 12 December 2020.  Closed 09 February 2021.  Notification April 2021

Round 2 – TBD.

The Cultural Sector Capability Fund supports the cultural sector to adapt to the COVID-19 environment by funding activities that build skills and knowledge, and provide access to advice, services, tools, and resources.

Open to 'cultural sector leadership organisations’ including iwi, hapū and marae organisations to support communities to deliver projects that build capability and respond to challenges of Covid-19.


Toi Ake Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku

Co-ordinating Agency:  Creative New Zealand

Funding amount: $940,000
Period: over 2 years
Contestable grants: $5,000 - $75,000.

Toi Ake supports marae, hapū, iwi, whakapapa-based rōpū and mātāwaka to protect, cultivate and retain mātauranga Māori related to heritage ngā toi Māori (Māori arts) and foster their distinctive arts and cultural practices.


Te Tahua Whakahaumaru | Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund

Co-ordinating agency: Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage

Funding amount:  $70 million
Period: 3 years.

The CARE Fund creates employment and training opportunities, ensure vital skills, talent and creative infrastructure are not lost, and maintain and expand public access to creative and cultural experiences.

It also aims to fund cultural sector practitioners to collaborate with communities to tell their stories, and to invest in projects that showcase local culture and history in the regions.


Te Tahua Āki Auahatanga | Cultural Sector Innovation Fund

Co-ordinating agency:  Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage

Funding Amount: $60 million
Period: 3 years.

The Cultural Sector Innovation Fund will open in 2021.

This fund encourages innovative practice and partnership to change the way cultural content is made available to audiences. It will include a strong focus on supporting projects that encourage the protection, transmission and retention of Mātauranga Māori.

Whare Taonga

Regional Arts And Cultural Heritage Fund

Administered by: Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Regional Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund  is a contestable fund of last resort which contributes typically no more than the last third of the qualifying capital project’s cost.

The RCHF accepts applications from institutions for genuine fundraising shortfalls, for qualifying capital projects at public: museums; galleries; iwi museums/whare taonga; heritage buildings or complexes housing significant collections; and performing arts venues.

To be eligible for consideration the primary function of a building will be to:

  • provide a performing arts venue for high quality and/or professional performing arts; and/or
  • provide an arts, culture and heritage exhibition venue (e.g. art galleries, museums, whare taonga); and/or
  • house collections of demonstrated importance to the region (e.g. art galleries, museums, whare taonga, heritage buildings or buildings at heritage sites where collections will be housed and exhibited).

Professional Development Grant

Administered by: Te Papa Tongarewa

Up to $1,000 (ex GST)
Opens 1 July & closes 30 June (per financial year).

Use this Professional development grant to access museum or gallery training programme – local or international – with long-term benefits for you, your organisation and the sector.

Oranga Marae funding

Oranga Marae

Administered by: Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs

Oranga Marae is a programme of support, advice and investment for marae. It gives whanau and hapū advice and support to help develop their marae and achieve their goals. This support may include building projects and activities to revitalise cultural knowledge.

A goal of the programme is to strengthen the ability of marae to pass on their ancestral knowledge of whaikōrero, karanga and local mātauranga, tikanga and kawa to descendants.

Oranga Marae can provide funding for 

  • marae development planning
  • technical or feasibility study support
  • cultural revitalisation activities
  • capital works.

Oranga Marae is administered by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Department of Internal Affairs. It replaces the Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities Fund which is permanently closed.  

Grants management system (application)

Programme phases

Eligibility and exclusions criteria.

To find out more about Oranga Marae, please visit Te Puni Kōkiri's website.

General funding for heritage

Additional funding is also available for all New Zealanders to apply to protect and conserve heritage places.


Te Tahua Taioa Ngā Taonga | Lottery Grants Board Environment & Heritage Fund

Administered by: Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.

Community organisations can apply to the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee for funding grants for projects which 'promote, protect and conserve New Zealand's natural, physical and cultural heritage'.  Such projects can include historical publications, museums, whare taonga and art galleries as well as the conservation of historic buildings, structures, rolling stock, archaeological sites and wahi tapu sites.  

The Environment & Heritage Fund grants are made for small projects up to $250,000 and large projects of $250,000 plus.

The Committee meets twice a year in June and November to consider applications, which must be received three months prior to a meeting.  Heritage New Zealand staff are available to assist applicants with advice and/or professional endorsement for suitable projects. Contact your local Heritage New Zealand office for more details.


National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund

Administered by: Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

The purpose of the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund is to provide financial incentives to encourage the conservation of privately owned heritage places recognised on the New Zealand Heritage List, as opposed to those in the ownership of the public sector and agencies eligible for funding from the Lottery Grants Board. Priority is given to heritage places of national significance where conservation work is planned and could be improved through extra funding.

The annual appropriation approved by Parliament for this fund is $563,000 (GST inclusive).

Applications for the 2021 round open on 4 May 2021 and close on 25 June 2021.