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Regeneration Fund application guide

Te Tahua Whakamarohi i te Rāngai Ahurea
Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund

The contents of this page are also available in PDF and Word versions:

We welcome applications in alternative formats, for example New Zealand Sign Language. If you need support with your application, understanding the fund or applying for funding, please contact [email protected]


What is this fund for?

The Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund (the Fund) is designed to support the arts, culture and heritage sectors to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Fund will invest in strategic, sector-led initiatives that will have lasting benefits for arts, culture, and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Fund replaces planned funding rounds of the Capability Fund, Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund and the Innovation Fund with a single outcome-focused approach.

The Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund is part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme.

Who can apply?

Individuals and organisations presenting strategic, sector-led initiatives, that will have a long-lasting benefit for the arts, culture and heritage sectors can apply.

To be eligible you will:

  • have a track record of successfully delivering initiatives of a similar scale or scope 
  • demonstrate a high level of support from stakeholders in the arts, culture and heritage sectors. In particular from the people or organisations that you expect to benefit from your initiative
  • not be a central government agency, Crown Entity, or local government however these entities can be involved in an initiative in a supporting or funding capacity

Your initiative will:

  • strongly contribute to the Fund outcomes. This means your initiative should have a strong to moderate contribution to two or more of the Fund’s outcome areas
  • the requested level of funding will be in proportion to the contribution your initiative makes to the Fund outcomes
  • have a long-lasting benefit for the arts, culture and heritage sectors
    • requests that seek to provide financial relief, support individual pursuits, or deliver one-off events are unlikely to succeed unless they can show how they will directly contribute to a measurable, long-lasting, sector wide impact
    • smaller-scale initiatives will need to show how they will directly contribute to a deep, long-lasting impact
  • not be primarily requesting capital expenditure (for example, to buy new buildings or carry out construction works)
  • not be supporting news content and sports as they are supported by other programmes administered by Manatū Taonga and Sport New Zealand.

What are the Fund outcomes?

There are five outcomes, including:

  • Improved sustainability and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sectors
    We want to support initiatives that have wide reach within the arts, culture and heritage sectors; make a real difference to capability; and have strong sector support.
  • Improved safeguarding of Mātauranga Māori and support of Toi Māori
    We want to support kaupapa led by Kaitiaki (custodians) and Ringatoi Māori (practitioners), for and on behalf of iwi, hapū, hapori Māori, to safeguard their vulnerable Mātauranga through initiatives that strengthen Taonga Tuku Iho and Toi Māori infrastructure – including people, places, systems and tools.
  • Improved access and participation in arts, culture and heritage sectors
    We want to support initiatives that grow audiences, address barriers to access and participation, and represent and engage more New Zealanders in arts, culture, and heritage.
  • Increased the use of arts, culture and heritage as a tool to improve wellbeing.
    We want to support initiatives that use arts, culture, and heritage to provide wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders, and/or strengthen the arts culture and heritage sector’s ability to deliver wellbeing initiatives in the future.
  • Increased employment and skill development opportunities
    We want to support initiatives that will create new and sustainable jobs. We also want to support initiatives that help people in the sector to develop the skills they need to be successful and achieve their goals.

There is currently $28 million available to support initiatives that have the strongest potential to contribute toward these outcomes.

For more details about each of the outcomes and to test your initiatives fit with the fund, download the Guide to Completing the Outcomes Questionnaire.

How the Fund works

Fund opens 27 July 2022.

diagram showing the 6 steps for making an application

Find out more about the application process, including how to:

  1. Check your eligibility and fit with the Fund
  2. Submit your Expression of Interest
  3. Discuss your initiative with us
  4. Submit your Full Proposal
  5. Opportunity for people to give feedback
  6. Evaluation and decision making

Key timeframes

Dates to submit your application

If your answers to the Outcomes Questionnaire show your initiative contributes strongly to the Fund outcomes, follow these timeframes to submit your application:

  • Submit your Expression of Interest between 27 July and 7 September 2022.
  • Have a conversation with us. We’ll schedule the call with you after you submit your Expression of Interest and before you submit a Full Proposal.
  • Submit your Full Proposal. You can submit your proposal either:
    • between 8 August and 18 October 2022
    • between 1 and 24 February 2023.

Four evaluation rounds for the Fund

There are four evaluation rounds for the Fund. 

If you submitted an application to earlier evaluation rounds you may have received an invitation for Round Four.

When we’ll make decisions on the applications

After each round we’ll let you know if your application was successful or give you feedback on how you could improve your proposal.

The timing of each evaluation round gives you time to apply feedback and improve your proposal before the next evaluation round.

This table outlines key dates.

Key dates
  Full proposal – first submission due by Full proposal – revised submission due by We’ll let you know about your application – indicative timeframes
First round 7 September 2022 N/A Mid/Late October 2022
Second round 18 October 2022 14 November 2022 Mid/Late December 2022
Third round 24 February 2023 10 March 2023 Early May 2023
Final round 24 February 2023 By invitation (May 2023) Late June 2023

We’ll only consider funding initiatives with milestones completed by June 2024

If your initiative will rely on funding beyond June 2024 to deliver against the Fund outcomes, we will need to see evidence that further funding is in place.

The application process

The application process has six steps.

Step 1: Check your eligibility and fit with the Fund

Your initiative doesn’t need to contribute to all five outcomes; however, initiatives that do not demonstrate a strong or moderate contribution to two or more of the outcomes are unlikely to receive funding.
As a general guide:

  • Strong contribution to a fund outcome: all A or B responses to the questions against the outcome
  • Moderate contribution to a fund outcome: mainly B or C responses to the questions against the outcome
  • Low contribution to a fund outcome: mainly D or E responses to the questions against the outcome

Step 2: Submit your Expression of Interest

To complete the Expression of Interest, you’ll need to provide a summary of your initiative, including how much it will cost, and the responses to your Outcomes Questionnaire.

Submit your Expression of Interest on our Funding Portal. See guidance on how to use the funding portal.

What the summary of your initiative should include

To complete the ‘summary of your initiative’ section in the Expression of Interest, you’ll need to provide information on:

  • What you’re proposing to do. This should outline your idea and provide some context to explain your goals and objectives.
  • Why you’re proposing to do it. This should briefly outline the opportunity you've identified and the problem you’re trying to solve.
  • Who you’re doing it for. This should outline who will benefit from your initiative and include geographical reach, sectors, and any other important groups.
  • The total cost of delivery and how much you’re requesting through the Fund.

Step 3: Discuss your initiative with us

Once you’ve submitted your Expression of Interest, we’ll be in touch to schedule a conversation with you.

We’ll discuss with you where your initiative has come from and what you’re hoping to achieve. We will also discuss your Outcomes Questionnaire including the areas where your initiative most strongly contributes, and any areas you weren’t sure about how to answer.

We’ll encourage you to submit a Full Proposal if we think your initiative has potential.

Step 4: Submit your Full Proposal

There are two opportunities to submit your Full Proposal. If you decide to progress with your proposal, you can choose the timeframe that suits you.

For details around timeframes see the dates for submitting your application.

Submit your Full Proposal in our Funding Portal.

What the Full Proposal submission includes

The Full Proposal submission includes:

  • the application form
  • a proposal document
  • a budget for the initiative
  • optional supporting information.

What the application form includes

The application form includes the summary of your initiative from your Expression of Interest, which will be pre-populated with your earlier responses. You’ll be able to make any updates or adjustments.

There will be more questions to answer, summarising the:

Contribution to the outcomes

  • Describe the specific benefits you expect to achieve that will contribute to the Fund outcomes, and how you know you’ll achieve those outcomes.

Initiative delivery 

  • Expected timeframe for delivery – the time it will take you to complete your initiative. See the maximum timeframe for funding.
  • Key initiative milestones (when key parts of the project will be completed) and benefit milestones (when outcomes will be achieved). 
  • Explain how you’ve collaborated with and involved those who will benefit in developing and delivering your proposal. 
  • Describe your track record for delivering initiatives of a similar scale or scope.

Financial information

  • Explain who else is providing financial support for your initiative and what that support is intended for – if relevant. 
  • Explain how you’ll fund your initiative beyond the life of the requested funding – if relevant. 

What the proposal document includes

Your proposal document should provide the key details about your initiative, how you will deliver it and how you will know that it has been successful.

The proposal document should not be more than 15 pages. There is no specific format required, however all proposal documents should include the information below. The level of information and length of a proposal may vary due to the amount of funding being requested. For example, a proposal seeking $100,000 might only be 8 pages long, while a proposal seeking $750,000 might be 15 pages long.

If you already have a business case or other proposal document which is longer than 15 pages, please discuss this with your relationship manager before reworking to meet the 15-page limit. We may be able to accept longer proposal documents if this saves you time.

The proposal document should cover:

Background and context

  • Explain the need for your initiative and outline any research or engagement activities you’ve done to confirm that need.

Your implementation and delivery plan

  • Outline the key people or organisations involved in your initiative and how they’re involved. Think about who is in your team as well as any key partners, collaborators, or co-funders. You may provide letters or partnership agreements to validate how these relationships will work, as supporting information.
  • Detail the timeline for your initiative including key milestones, activities and resources. If you already have a detailed timeline or project plan, you can provide this separately.
  • Highlight any key risks and mitigation plans.
  • Describe the key revenue and expenses involved in the delivery of your initiative, how you have considered fair pay for those involved and how confident you are that the budget will be enough to achieve your initiative.

What success will look like

  • Are there any long-term benefits that need further explanation?
  • How would you know that your initiative is achieving the intended benefits and how would you provide evidence that those benefits are being achieved?

The budget

Your budget should include the project costs and revenue sources, including other investors and funders.

You should include descriptions for the items included in the budget. For example, if you have a sponsorship income line, we want to know who the sponsor is, what it is for, as well as if it has been, or when it will be confirmed.

There is a template you can use that outlines the information we need to see. You can provide your budget in a different format, but it must include the required information and be in an excel spreadsheet.  

Step 5: Opportunity for people to give feedback

A summary of each completed proposal will be published online for a period of around two weeks at the start of each evaluation round.

The feedback opportunity provides transparency about the proposals being considered and means that:

  • people in the sector can provide feedback on your initiative and confidence in your leadership
  • other potential funders or collaborators can see that we are actively considering funding your initiative.

The information gathered through the feedback process will be summarised, with the common themes considered during evaluation and decision-making.

What the published summary will include

The published information will be taken from your Full Proposal application form and will include:

  • the name of your initiative
  • the summary of your initiative – what you’ll be doing
  • an outline of the opportunity or problem – what you’re trying to achieve or solve
  • who will benefit and how they’ll benefit
  • total approximate funding requested
  • total approximate cost of your initiative.

Information which will be published will be clearly marked in the Full Proposal form so that you can understand what will be published during this stage.

What type of feedback we’re looking for

People who want to provide feedback on the published proposals need to register with their name, a valid email address, their role in the sector and interest in the initiative. They’ll answer these questions:

  • Do you agree this is an important opportunity or problem for the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors? 
  • Do you agree this initiative will have the desired benefit? 
  • Do you have any other comments that you would like to share? 

Submitters will be able to provide feedback on any proposal that interests them. 

How feedback is used to help make a decision

Feedback is one of five elements considered during decision-making and helps to indicate an initiative’s level of support. We will focus on feedback from people who work or participate in the relevant sector.

If we don’t receive any feedback on an initiative, or we need specific expertise, we may proactively seek feedback from experts or practitioners in the sector. We may ask you to nominate up to three people with relevant experience or expertise who would be willing to provide us feedback.

Step 6: We’ll evaluate proposals and make a decision

We’ll consider all completed proposals over four evaluation rounds. We’ll allocate up to a quarter of the total funding in each round.

During each round, we’ll evaluate completed proposals on their:

  • contribution to the fund outcomes
  • level of funding - The level of funding sought will need to be proportionate to the contribution the initiative makes to the Fund outcomes. For example, an initiative seeking more than $750,000 would need to be making a strong contribution to two or more of the Fund outcomes.
  • track record - Organisations and people leading the initiative will need to have a history of delivering initiatives of similar scale and scope.
  • delivery plan - Initiatives will need to have a realistic and achievable plan to implement and deliver.
  • feedback - A summary of the feedback received may inform decision-making.
  • balancing – We’ll look to balance our funding decisions across a range of initiatives, outcomes, sectors and locations in Aotearoa.

Before making final decisions, we’ll complete our due diligence to identify any issues or concerns about an organisation or people involved in delivering initiatives. If we identify any significant concerns, your initiative may not be funded.

If your proposal is successful

If your proposal is successful, you’ll be invited to enter into a funding agreement with us. Once the funding agreement is signed by both parties the initiative will be able to start delivery.

Contracting and delivery

Funding agreements outline the terms and conditions of the funding as well as payment information, key milestones, reporting schedules and measures. 

You’ll work with a relationship manager to agree your targets and success measures which will be outlined in your funding agreement.

A draft funding agreement will be available on the funding portal.

If your proposal is unsuccessful

If your proposal is unsuccessful, we’ll consider it in future evaluation rounds. We’ll give you feedback after each evaluation round to support you to improve your application.

You can choose to withdraw your application at any time.

How we handle and protect your information

We’ll only use personal information provided in your:

  • Manatū Taonga Online portal account
  • Expression of Interest
  • Full Proposal.

By applying, you authorise us to disclose information to, or obtain information from, any other government department or agency, private person, or organisation for the purposes of administering the scheme.

We will hold all of your information securely and will only share it more widely if we must under the law, in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. When we no longer need your information, we will securely archive or destroy it, in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005.

We will publish details about your initiative such as the applicants name, the initiative name and location, start date, an agreed summary of the initiative, and approximate cost of the initiative and funding requested. We will not publish any commercial or confidential information unless you agree in writing.

Email us if you’re concerned about the information that we hold about you at [email protected]

How to use the online application portal

All Expressions of Interest and Full Proposals must be submitted through our Manatū Taonga online portal.

To do this you need to:

1. Sign up as a user

If you already have an account, log in with the same username and password you have previously used. 

If you need to sign up, use your name and email address. 

2. Create an account for your organisation

If you have created an account before and are applying on behalf of the same organisation, use the same account you used previously. 

If this is your first time or you’re registering on behalf of a different organisation, create an account for that organisation. 

3. Submit your application

Once you’ve created an account you can complete your Expression of Interest or Full Proposal by selecting ‘Apply’ from your home page.  

You can save, close, and return to your registration at any time before you submit the form.

You will not be able to submit your application forms until all mandatory questions have been answered. These are marked with an asterisk * and will show up in red if you try to submit without completing them.  

Read the online portal user guide for support.

Updated on 30th May 2023