General funding for heritage

There are various agencies including Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga which offer financial assistance for those who wish to protect and conserve heritage places.

Waka carving
Image: Arini Poutu Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taongaexpand/collapse

Funding for Māori Heritage (including Cultural Recovery Funding from 2021)

Administered by: various agencies including Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

There is a range of funding options available for Māori heritage, including new grants available through the Government’s Arts and Culture Covid Recovery Programme which supports iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to protect their mātauranga and taonga from the impact and on-going threat of Covid-19.


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.


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.


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.


Heritage EQUIP

Heritage EQUIP supports private owners of earthquake-prone heritage buildings to seismically strengthen their buildings. The programme includes a “how-to” website along with grant funding. 

Grants can cover up to 67% of the seismic strengthening costs of works that raise the earthquake resistant capacity of the building to above 34% NBS. Professional Advice Grants and other incentives are available for eligible owners of heritage buildings in regional centres that are medium or high seismic risk areas.

How to apply

Full details including eligibility criteria and how to apply are available at www.heritageequip.govt.nz.  You can apply at any time, and the expert advisory panel meets three times a year to assess applications.  Applications for the next funding round close on 29 March 2021.  


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.

Territorial authority grants

Heritage grants are the most common non-regulatory incentive offered in New Zealand, and most of these are discretionary grants which have flexible guidelines, and a competitive selection process.  Usually, an assessment committee determines which projects will be funded.

Heritage grants are provided by a large number of territorial authorities. Most funds are relatively small and individual grant amounts are often between $5,000 to $10,000.  Some of the largest funds are the Auckland Council Built Heritage Protection Fund, Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund and the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund.

The Christchurch City Council’s Heritage Incentive Grants Fund provides financial assistance to owners of heritage items listed in the City Plan and Banks Peninsula District Plan.

Owners can also apply to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund Trust to assist in funding insurance shortfalls for earthquake-related repairs to listed and non-listed heritage and character buildings damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes.

Some local authorities also provide performance grants for specific types of work. Check your local authority's website for information about what they offer and their terms and conditions.


Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Trust 

A special appeal was launched to help fund the repair, restoration and strengthening of character and heritage buildings damaged during the Christchurch earthquake. All donations to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund were matched dollar-for-dollar by the government up to $10 million.  

The Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Trust is managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.  

Funding is targeted to bridge the gap between insurance cover, and the actual cost of repairs and associated works including conservation works, structural upgrading and Building Code compliance works. The Trustees will give preference to buildings where the preservation of which will make a significant contribution to the historic identity and visual character of a place and will, in turn, confer maximum public benefit.

Owners of earthquake-damaged heritage buildings located within the Canterbury region are eligible to apply to this Trust for assistance with repairs for the purposes of retention and restoration. 

Further funds  became available and a contestable round of applications for funding has closed. There is more information about the types of projects the Fund will support in the Fund Policy document (pdf, 357kb) - please read this before you consider applying.  All owners of qualifying heritage buildings are eligible to apply to the general fund for assistance.  To apply, please complete the application form (Word, 112kb) and send it to

Conservation Architect
Heritage New Zealand
PO Box 4403
Christchurch Mail Centre 8140

Phone + 64 3 363 1889.


Unreinforced masonry buildings

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has targeted funding support where owners who are required (under section 124 of the Building Act 2005) to secure facades and/or parapets of street-facing unreinforced masonry buildings can apply for a contribution to the costs.  Find out more on the website.

Incentives for Historic Heritage

Heritage New Zealand has prepared a toolkit that provides an overview of the range of regulatory and non-regulatory incentives including methods such as conservation lots, waivers of zone provisions, transferable development rights, grants and rates relief.  The toolkit (pdf, 3mb) outlines some of the benefits and costs of these incentives and examples of their use in New Zealand.