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Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund guide

We recommend you read this guide carefully before starting the application process.

If you need support to understand or apply for our funding, please contact: [email protected]. Updated March 2023.

Ihirangi | Contents

What is this fund for?

The Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund (the Fund) will distribute up to $300,000 to support events that encourage communities to participate in commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi. See what activities were funded in 2022.

Ngā rā matua | Key timeframes

Dates to submit your application

Applications will open in September 2023.

When we’ll make decisions on the applications

We’ll let you know the outcome of your application from November 2023.

Who can apply?

To be eligible you must be a recognised local government or community organisation, group, or collective, based in Aotearoa New Zealand with

  • an existing role in community activities and services
  • the ability to demonstrate your role in delivering community activities
  • the capacity to administer and support the proposed event
  • commitment to provide an evaluation of the event after it has been delivered.

If we identify information that does not support these eligibility criteria your application will be ineligible and withdrawn from consideration.

What activities can be supported?

To be successful event activities must meet the following event eligibility criteria.

We will prioritise activities that:

  • reflect partnership between iwi, marae, local government, and community groups
  • deepen understanding about Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi
  • promote nation and community building
  • invite wide community participation
  • support access for people with disabilities

We will not fund:

  • individuals (you must apply as part of a group, collective or organisation)
  • mid to long term education programmes or resources
  • travel to Waitangi or the Bay of Islands
  • the purchase of alcohol.

How the fund works

Preparing your application

The following guidance helps you understand what information you will need to provide when submitting your application.

What your application form will cover:

  • Event name and short description
  • Event details including:
    • what the event will include
    • when and where the event will be held
    • project schedule
    • implementation plan
    • budget
  • Supporting documents including letters of support and evidence you are operating as an organisation, group, or collective.

The application form in the portal will include guidance to help you answer the questions. The following information provides an overview of what information you will be asked.

Mōhiohio mō te kaupapa | Event details

You will complete an application form that includes several questions, where you will select from drop-down options, to tell us things like your event location, venue type, and what cultural elements you will include.

You will also need to provide detailed responses, including: 

Describe your event and how it will commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

When describing your event, consider explaining:

  • What activities, performances, or engagements will your event include
  • How is the day of your event significant to the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi
  • How does your event commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi
  • How does your event encourage wide community participation
  • How does your event demonstrate significant community support, for example involvement of local iwi, Council and others.

Be detailed enough for the Panel to understand and evaluate your event and how it is important for the commemoration and community. For example:

A free, all-inclusive family friendly fun day featuring food stalls, cultural performances, storytelling, and workshops.  The interactive workshops, aimed at a range of age groups, will give participants an opportunity to learn a variety of traditional and modern crafts such as flax weaving and poi making as well as to learn basic te reo Māori and more about Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.  Exhibitions will be held displaying educational resources on Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi including a small quiz booklet aimed at children, and guest speakers will lead a discussion on the history of the Treaty. 

Provide details about the accessibility of your event location and what you are doing to support access and participation.

  • Consider accessibility for all disabled people, older people, and young people.
  • Tell us what you are doing to include people with physical and mobility challenges, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments.
  • For more information see Guidance for designing accessible events (Word 115 kbs)

Te wātaka kaupapa | Event schedule

Your event schedule includes adding the event date, the district or city where the event will be held, and the anticipated audience size.  

Te whakatinana | Implementation approach

Your implementation approach tells us the key activities you will do to deliver your event, who is involved, and a timeline. We need to have confidence that you have the appropriate steps in place for the event to be successful. 

When outlining your implementation approach, consider:

  • What needs to be done to prepare for your event and who is responsible for the work?
  • What are the risks of delivering your event in a public space and how will you mitigate them? Consider health and safety, audience management and security management. 
  • How will you manage any complaints about the content of your event from members of the public?
  • Do you have appropriate contingency plans for unforeseen circumstances such as weather impacts?
  • We recommend you check government’s event and gathering guidelines.

Te Mahere Pūtea | Event budget

Your event budget tells us about the funding and costs of your event.

You need to complete the budget template and attach it to your application as supporting information.

Example budget template (online portal).

Please make sure that if you are:

  • GST registered the values you provide are GST exclusive. You will receive GST in addition to your grant payment.
  • not GST registered, values you provide reflect the amount are required to pay.

What do I need to include in my budget?

Event income

Enter the total amount of:

  • funding requested from Manatū Taonga
  • funding from other sources such as community trusts, philanthropists or private donors, and other grants
    • note what costs the funding is tagged to
    • note what funding has been committed, received, or if an outcome is unknown
  • value of other contributions such as volunteer hours and other in-kind donations
  • total cost of the event

Event expenses

You will add all the costs of your event. You will enter your information into a table that includes the following sections:

  • Cost Description – Include details about the cost for example hiring of the hall as a venue or employing a lighting technician for the event at $45 per hour.
  • Type of cost – Select the most appropriate category for the cost from a list that includes paying people, production and material, travel and accommodation, location related, administration, marketing.
  • Requested ($) – the amount Manatū Taonga will contribute to the cost
  • Remaining ($) – the remaining amount that will be met by other sources.

Ngā puka taunaki | Supporting documents

To support your application, you need to upload:

  • Your completed Budget Template for the event.
  • TWO letters of support of the event.

The letters must be current and specific to the event.  We recommend including letters from your local council and local iwi.

  • ONE document that validates you are operating as an organisation, group or collective.

Relevant evidence includes documentation of constitutional arrangements such as the trust deed or certificate of Incorporation, a formal letter from your District Māori Council or appropriate iwi authority, a copy of a Māori Land Court Order, proof of organisational structure, or copies of minutes of meetings or annual general meetings.

How do I submit my application?

All applications must be submitted through the Manatū Taonga online portal. To do this you will need to:

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.

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.

Submit your application.

Once you’ve created an account you can complete your application by selecting ‘Apply’ from your home page.

You can save, close, and return to your application 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.

Te Tūkanga arotake i te tono | Application evaluation process

Your submitted application will be evaluated by a panel administered by Manatū Taonga. The Panel will evaluate the application against the applicant and event eligibility criteria. Final funding decisions will be made by Manatū Taonga.

Ka aha ki te angitū taku tono? | What happens if I am successful?

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to enter into a funding agreement with us.

The panel may recommend awarding a different level of funding than the amount you applied for. If this happens, and it means your event is not feasible to deliver you do not have to accept the offer of funding.

Successful applications will be published on our website. The published information includes:

  • the name of your group, collective or organisation
  • the name of your event
  • a short description of your event
  • the location of your event
  • the amount awarded.

Ka aha ki te kore e angitū taku tono? | What happens if I am unsuccessful?

You will receive a notification email letting you know the outcome of your application. We can provide you feedback about why your application was unsuccessful. 

Delivery and reporting

If you are successful, you must provide us with an evaluation and expenditure report one month after the event. If you do not report back, it will affect your ability to receive funding through this fund in the future.

You must notify us of any significant changes to your event. This includes any changes to the event date or contact information. If your event cannot take place for any reason, you must inform us immediately. You may be required to repay the grant. If your event is unable to go ahead due to unforeseen circumstances, you will be able to retain some funding to cover non-recoverable costs, subject to a discussion with the Ministry.

Te tiaki i ō pārongo | Protecting your information

We’ll only use personal information provided in your:

  • Manatū Taonga Online portal account
  • Application.

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 event such as the applicants name, the event name and location, a short event description, and the amount of funding. 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].

What the terms and criteria in this guide mean

Here’s some more detail and examples to help you understand terms and criteria in this guide and how they apply to you.


Consider factors (e.g. event communication, venue, parking, toilet facilities, seating and signage) that will ensure your event is accessible to everyone. Please also consider whether any equipment or New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreters are required, so that people with physical and mobility challenges, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments can be included.

Event should be free for people to attend (a small koha may be acceptable).

Free entry means that no-one can be charged or feel like any money is required to view, engage or participate in the event. Associated optional purchases (such as food, drink or merchandise) or donations are possible as a part of the event, however, they must not create any type of perceived or real barrier to entry.

For more information see Guidance for designing accessible events (Word 115 kbs).

Commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi

Applicants to the Fund should tell how their event is deepening and broadening the conversations about Te Tiriti and be able to demonstrate that recognition of Te Tiriti is a central theme in their event. Activities could include exhibitions, korero, re-enactments, storytelling, a quiz and more. Visit the NZHistory website to read more about the history of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Non-recoverable costs

If you have committed costs prior to having to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances, they can still be paid from your grant and the remainder returned to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.


The Panel is made up of government/sector representatives who will assess your application against the criteria.

Promotes nation-building and community-building and encourages wide community participation

  • Acknowledges our shared history and is inclusive of our cultural diversity
  • Demonstrates how the Treaty has shaped our nation
  • Widely advertised, free event that is open to a broad audience
  • Inclusive, family-friendly event
  • Talks, story-telling, and activities are aimed at all age groups, and accessibility issues are considered to ensure that the whole community can attend

Promotes a cultural experience

The event could include kapa haka and other cultural performances, Māori arts and crafts activities, pōwhiri/marae visit, opportunity to learn about tikanga Māori and waiata, waka rides, lessons in te reo Māori or food from different cultures.

Updated on 29th March 2023