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Capability Fund funding recipients

Ngā roopu angitū ō Te Tahua Whakakaha
Capability Fund funding recipients

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

Round one funding recipients

In round one cultural sector leadership organisations could apply for:

  • up to $20,000 of seed funding
  • up to $750,000 of project funding.

Seed funding




Auckland Festival Trust

To research and scope alternative performance methodologies for festivals in a COVID-19 environment, including hybrid and online performance platform technologies.



Aukaha (1997) Ltd

To develop a proposal to establish an inventory of wāhi tupuna/archaeological sites in the Otago takiwā and their associated kōrero and pakiwaitara, and develop skills of whānau/hapū to identify, record, and monitor wāhi tupuna.



B Company 28th NZ (Māori) Battalion History Trust

For wānanga and engagement to inform the provision of tools and resources that will enable access to a significant collection of taonga, both physically and digitally.



Campus Radio bFM Limited

To develop a next generation Student Radio Network volunteering strategy with partner organisations.



Contemporary Art Foundation

Towards a coordinated series of research workshops and hui with regional public art gallery staff and stakeholders across Aotearoa to identify the highest priority needs for the sector during and post COVID-19 alert levels.



Creative Bay of Plenty Charitable Trust

To consult with the sector about capability needs and solutions, and develop a detailed plan to structure and deliver Bay of Plenty creative capability projects.



Creative Capital Arts Trust

To analyse Wellington and Aotearoa’s emerging independent performing arts sector to identify the challenges, blockages and institutional gaps for emerging artists to transition into successful full-time practitioners with sustainable careers.



Dust Palace Charitable Trust

To deliver a pilot programme that supports circus artists of Tāmaki Makaurau through professional development sessions and residencies that will collectivise knowledge, skills and creative energy.



Hokotehi Moriori Trust

To carry out a study on taonga Moriori and develop a series of pilot workshops as a basis for arts revival programmes that focus on Moriori imagery, fibres, materials and knowledge.

Chatham Islands


ICOMOS New Zealand Incorporated

To identify the scope and framework for developing concise written guidance for users of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) New Zealand Charter.



Māori Music Industry Coalition

To support a national research and consultation project with Māori participating in the New Zealand music industry.



National Digital Forum Incorporated

To undertake sector research, and prototype development and refinement for an online resource hub to enable cultural sector professionals, volunteers and organisations to increase their digital capabilities.



New Zealand Comedy Trust

To undertake a research project to understand the capability building needs of the comedy sector to remain financially sustainable in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 environment.



Ngā Aho Incorporated Society

To develop a strategic plan towards a sustainable and thriving network.



Ngāti Tarawhai Iwi Trust

To develop a business case for Toi Okataina, a proposed cultural centre for Ngāti Tarāwhai to revitalise and develop new capability in traditional arts practices.



PANNZ Inc Society

To scope and research the development of a centralised digital platform for the performing arts sector.



Taranaki Arts Festival Trust

To engage and consult with Toi Tū Taranaki and Toi o Taranaki ki te Tonga to understand their needs in the areas of Māori arts capacity, capability and leadership development.

New Plymouth


Te Manatū Ahurea o Tūhoe Trust

Towards the development of a programme aimed at generating inclusive career pathways and opportunities for audiences, artists and practitioners to broaden horizons and expand Reo-Toi capabilities.



Wellington Circus Trust

To identify sector needs for upskilling of trainers, build a network of specialists and a framework for a series of training workshops.  



WORD Christchurch Trust

To provide organisations with access to digital equipment and pilot a training workshop, so participants can develop innovative events combining live-streaming, live audiences and international guests to maintain an international presence during COVID-19 restrictions.



Project funding




Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi

To use Boosted, a proven crowdfunding platform, to build fundraising and engagement capability for creatives and arts organisations via 20 regional workshops and animated educational videos.



Arts Murihiku Charitable Trust

For a regional programme focusing on broadening participation and deepening engagement in the arts in Murihiku Southland through capability building events, workshops, and mentoring.



Arts Regional Trust - Te Taumata Toi-ā-Iwi

To develop a collective impact model focused on building creative sector capability across Tāmaki Makaurau by co-designing and implementing a range of capability projects and initiatives while connecting communities of practice across a network of creative arts practitioners, enabling collaboration, sharing learning and best practice, creating and distributing open source resources and building capability infrastructure.



Auckland Unlimited Limited

Investing in the Auckland Live Connect initiative to support the performing arts sector to build capability in the digital space, develop export potential and increased exposure via digital platforms, and develop a future-ready performing arts workforce through online hui, training, and mentorship.



Canterbury Museum Trust Board

To increase capability and resilience in heritage organisations across the Canterbury region via networking and training, using a collections care and access model.



Copyright Licensing New Zealand

To develop, establish and deliver online learning modules and workshops focused on legal rights for authors, writers, publishers and artists.



Creative Waikato

To develop capability in the cultural sector of the Waikato region, by enhancing cultural literacy, encouraging the development of a collaborative, innovative and adaptable community of practice, and developing resilience in the arts and cultural ecosystem.



Entertainment Technology New Zealand Incorporated

To host the 2021 ETNZ Conference for those involved in the technical side of delivering events and entertainment to meet, share ideas, and learn about new technology and processes that affect the industry in New Zealand and internationally.



Māoriland Charitable Trust

For a strengths-based Māori leadership project to support the Māoriland community of practitioners and businesses working in screen, production, toi Māori, taonga tuki iho, creative technology, performing arts and arts events.



Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

For Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga Association of Educations Beyond the Classroom to support culture and heritage educators and their institutions to adapt to new ways of connecting with and delivering programmes to schools and kura in a COVID-19 environment.



New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc

To support the delivery of targeted digital capability activities for New Zealand writers, through web-based and regional learning programmes.



Ngā Hua Toi Ltd

For a programme of national and regional services to build capability and sustainability for the contemporary independent Māori theatre and dance sector.



Ngā Toi Hawke’s Bay

To deliver Toitū Ngā Toi, a regional initiative to grow the capability of Hawke’s Bay’s cultural and creative sectors to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world. It will do this by raising the regional profile of the cultural and creative sectors, supporting creative enterprise growth and building a sustainable enabling eco-system.



Ōrotokare: Art, Story, Motion Trust

To strengthen, enrich and deepen mātauranga Māori/ngā toi Māori skills and capability in ngā toi Māori artists drawn from across the arts and culture sector through wānanga and whare tapere events.



Otago Museum Trust Board

To deliver Tū Tonu, a holistic, multi-layered package of support and resilience building for heritage-focused cultural institutions across Otago and Southland.



Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

To build skills and knowledge in commercial essentials from a Polynesian cultural foundation, including financial sustainability, operational expertise, strategic planning, creative design, innovation, intellectual property, negotiation, networking and international intercultural skills.



Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated

To develop the capability of practitioners, whānau, hapū, and marae to preserve, protect, and revitalise Ngāti Toa taonga, through the development of an iwi conservation management plan and associated conservation training initiatives.



Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui Māori Cultural Council

To deliver capability building activities associated with the hosting of Te Mana Kuratahi 2021.



Te Whare Hukahuka Limited

For an introduction to e-commerce, in collaboration with 13 iwi and Māori cultural organisations.



Evaluation and decision-making

An evaluation panel, administered by Manatū Taonga and including members with sector knowledge and expertise, made funding recommendations. Based on these recommendations, decisions on the allocation of funding were made by Manatū Taonga. An external agency was engaged to provide assurance from a probity perspective around evaluation processes.

Our external panel members for round one were:

Alistair Kwun

Alistair Kwun is a writer, producer and connector who curates arts, diversity and leadership experiences. He has previously held arts management positions at Auckland Live, SkyCity, Auckland Arts Festival, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Alistair led the public relations for the NZ Chinese Association Auckland's successful series of Going Bananas conferences and co-founded Future Dragonz, Aotearoa's leading Chinese young professionals' network.

Conal McCarthy

Professor Conal McCarthy is Director of the Museum & Heritage Studies programme at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. His professional experience includes work in museum and gallery collections, exhibitions, governance, policy, interpretation and education. His research focuses on museum history, theory and practice, as well as the Māori engagement with cultural heritage. He has published eight books, numerous book chapters and journal articles and edits the international journal Museum Worlds: Advances in Research.

Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Rongomaiwahine, Kahungunu, Pāhauwera, Ngāi Tahu Matawhaiti)

Resident in her iwi territories on the East Coast of Aotearoa, Desna Whaanga-Schollum is actively involved in indigenous discourse, working towards reinscribing ancestral narratives in the landscape, acknowledging respect for, and reciprocal relationships with, place. She holds governance roles at Ngā Aho Māori Design Professionals, Artspace Aotearoa, Arts Foundation NZ and Auckland Urban Design Panel. Through her work, Desna collaborates with a diverse range of communities to achieve results which effect change in people, practice, and place

Josiah Tualamali’l

Josiah Tualamali’l lives in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Co-founder of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Trust, he brings a Pacific cultural leadership perspective to a range of board roles, including at the Rātā Foundation. He is a company director and advisor on mental health and wellbeing, and Pacific community participation and voice. He is also undertaking postgraduate study at the University of Canterbury recovering stories about Pacific peoples history in Ōtautahi. He expresses his creativity as a performer, singing and playing the piano. Josiah is a Te Waipounamu born and raised 'afakasi Samoan-German. His villages are Salelesi, Fagaloa, Lepa and Aufuga. His pākehā ancestors came from across Europe but predominately Scotland, Ireland, Poland, Germany and Norway.

Libby Hakararia (Ngāti Kapu, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga)

Libby Hakaraia is a producer, director and writer with a long career in the film and television industry. Based in Ōtaki, she is Managing Director of the Māoriland Charitable Trust which operates the multi-arts venue the Māoriland Hub and the annual Māoriland Film Festival – the largest indigenous film festival in the southern hemisphere. With Māoriland, Libby has implemented mentoring and training programmes for rangatahi nationwide to enter the film and creative arts sectors.

Moana Tipa (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Kāhungunu & Celt)

An arts writer, journalist, reviewer, researcher and painter, Moana Tipa uses the arts to influence change. A facilitator of contemporary visual and performing arts during the Ngai Tahu settlement, Moana has also delivered arts programmes in Canterbury prisons and played a key role in developing a national prison art strategy. More recently, her personal research has focused on where the language of line and form access new depth at the intersection of te ao Māori and Christian faith.

Randal Leach (Ngāti Porou – Ngāti Kōnohi, Te Aitanga a Hauiti – Ngāti Kahukuranui)

Based in Rotorua and currently a deputy principal at Te Kaupapa Māori O Te Koutu, Randal Leach is a practicing visual Māori artist and educationalist, who has taught the visual arts for the last 20 years. He is a cultural performer for Te Ropu Kapa Haka o Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti and has been involved in many cultural exchanges over the years.

Updated on 5th July 2022