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Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund — Organisations

Te Tahua Pūtea Whakaora mō ngā Ringatoi — Ngā Rōpū
Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund — Organisations

Fund now closed

Update 27 May: The fund is now closed for new applications. We are still processing existing applications. 
In September 2021 the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund was implemented to provide more direct support for organisations as part of the Delta Relief Funding package.

Due to the shift to Red under the COVID-19 Protection Framework additional funding was made available and some changes to the fund eligibility were made to increase the support available for organisations.

The limit on funding for organisations, including sole traders with employees, was increased from $100,000 to $300,000, for all funding awarded after 22 January 2022.

What was the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund – Organisations? 

The Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund was a fund of last resort which provided support for organisations, including sole traders with employees, at risk of no longer operating viably by meeting the shortfall between income and expenses in the eight weeks following the date of application (or reapplication).

It was intended to support organisations in danger of imminent collapse. One of the key criteria was that applying organisations are in a situation where, without financial support, an organisation would not be able to operate viably within eight weeks of their application.

Because it is a fund of last resort, this support was not intended to be ‘income replacement’ to meet all an organisation’s expenses. To ensure we could assist as many people as possible the intention was to fund only essential business costs, and only the amount of those costs that the organisation’s income and reserves cannot cover.

Applicants will need to demonstrate they have exhausted all cash and reserves on hand and explored all other avenues of government support, available via Work and Income and Inland Revenue (such as the Leave Support Scheme Payments), local government support, and support from cultural sector agencies.


This Fund was open to cultural sector organisations, including businesses and charities who have current legal status in New Zealand, and also to sole traders who have a New Zealand Business Number. 

Cultural sector organisations are those who contribute to creating, presenting, protecting, and distributing arts, culture and heritage in any medium. News content and sports are not in scope for this funding. 

If your financial situation is eligible, and all other eligibility criteria is met, applicants may apply to the fund more than once (every eight weeks until the maximum funding limit is reached). 

Further detail is available in our Key Information for Applicants (PDF 466KB)


Subject to eligibility requirements and the availability of funds, the amount of funding available to each applicant was the shortfall between income (revenue) and eligible expenses (costs) over the eight-week period following their application (or reapplication). 

Organisations that received funding could apply for additional funding again at the end of eight week period.  

The maximum funding available for each applicant, over all applications, was up to $300,000. 

The fund was open from 1 October 2021 to 26 May 2022.

Updated on 27th May 2022