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Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, New Zealand Oral History Grants

Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants

The next funding round will close on April 15 2024.

After discussion with a range of oral historians across Aotearoa, we have decided to return to our pre-COVID fund closing date of April. In 2023 we will run a number of oral history funding workshops across the country and online to connect with oral historians and potential oral historians and hear about their projects. If you would like to find out more, send us an email at [email protected].

Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho New Zealand Oral History Grants are available for community-led projects reflecting diverse identities and perspectives. Administered by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, this funding provides financial help for oral history projects relating to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand and Aotearoa New Zealand’s close relationships with the Pacific.

On this page:

About the fund

Funding for these grants came from the Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust for Awards in Oral History in 1990 to honour 150 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Each year approximately $100,000 is divided between the successful applicants (usually a maximum of 12 grants are given). Since 1991, when they were first awarded, more than $2 million has been given to more than 400 community groups and individuals. A successful applicant generally receives between $5000 and $10,000 towards the costs of their project. 

Applications are assessed by a committee comprising people from around the country who have a range of experience with oral history and oral traditions.

Grants are given as a contribution towards the cost of recording interviews for oral history projects. They may be used to pay training, travel and other expenses, such as having relevant photographs copied. The purchase of good quality audio and/or video recording equipment may also be supported if the application includes a quote from a retailer.

Is this the right fund for you?

Grants may be made to individuals or groups with a community-led project. Preference will be given to people with proven experience of successfully completing oral history projects or who have completed training in oral history or people who are committed to completing training as part of the project or have experience in oral traditions.

Manatū Taonga welcomes applications for oral history projects conducted in any language. Recordings of waiata, haka and karakia are eligible for support from this fund. Origin and journey stories of migrants and refugees living in Aotearoa are also very welcome. We request that you provide an abstract or time-coded summary in English to be deposited with the recording.

Video recording is eligible for funding as a component of an oral history project, but neither video nor film projects, in themselves, are eligible for these grants.

Successful applicants are eligible to apply for the cost of a National Oral History Association of NZ subscription for one year. Membership of NOHANZ is encouraged as a useful way to engage with other oral historians across the country.

This isn’t the right fund for everyone:

  • Assistance is not available for projects that are eligible for funding from tertiary institutions or for university theses.
  • Assistance is not generally available for funded institutions such as museums, unless they are largely volunteer run and minimally funded from regional or national sources.
  • Staff of Manatū Taonga are ineligible to apply.
  • If you have already received a grant from this fund, you will not be eligible to apply for further funding until you have completed the previous project within the terms agreed.
  • We recommend no more than 10 interviews be undertaken by applicants. 
  • The purchase of computers and stationery will not be funded.
  • The grants are not intended to cover full-time salaries for the period of the project. However, a standard fee per interview will be considered at a rate dependent on the experience of the oral historian/s.
  • Successful applicants are required to record their interviews using digital recording equipment only.
  • We fund only the recording and abstracting of oral history interviews, not any further work required to develop subsequent exhibitions or publications. For example, if your application for a Grant to record 10 interviews, transcribe them and publish a book using the material is successful, you will receive funding only for the recording of the interviews. However, upon request we may fund transcription for accessibility purposes. The Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants may be your next step towards publication or exhibition.
  • No work is funded retrospectively.

Conditions for successful applicants

  • You are expected to complete the project within 12 months of receiving the Grant. Please consider this condition carefully before applying for a Grant.
  • The original recordings must be deposited in the Oral History and Sound Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library and/or, with the agreement of the Ministry, in another archival repository or pātaka which can maintain their integrity into the future. To be clear, the deposit only needs to be made in one repository.  Manatū Taonga is happy to provide support and advice in relation to archiving practices where requested.
  • For each interview you must provide an oral history recording agreement form signed by the person interviewed. This can specify interviewee preferences regarding access to their interview, including kaitiakitanga arrangements in perpetuity.
  • A detailed time-coded content summary or abstract for each interview must accompany recordings for deposit.
  • You will be required to provide regular progress reports until the project is completed.

Payment of Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, New Zealand Oral History Grants

  • If the required reporting for the project has not been completed within 12 months, and prior approval has not been granted for an extension, Manatū Taonga reserves the right to request the funding is returned.

How to apply

Application forms are now available for download in Englishte Reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan.

Applications close on 15 April 2024.

Please send your completed application to:
[email protected]

Or post to:
Oral History Grants / Delivery Group
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
P O Box 5364
Wellington 6140

NOTE: When submitting your application, please name the file: ‘YOUR NAME OH Grant  YEAR’.
In addition, before submitting your application, please refer to the Privacy Notice below.

In making this application you accept that if you are successful your name, title of your project, and the amount of money granted to you may be published by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

[email protected]   | (04) 499-4229

Updated on 16th October 2023