COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for Aotearoa. The cultural sector has been hit particularly hard. As part of the COVID-19 Recovery Budget, the Government made a landmark investment to help ensure the sector not only survives – it adapts and thrives.

The Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme announced in late May 2020 includes more than 25 initiatives designed to deliver short-term relief as well as longer-term support for the sector. In September 2021 it was announced that $37.5m funding would be brought forward from the programme to provide financial support to the cultural sector through the COVID-19 Delta response. 

The $5 million Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund is now open.

Manatū Taonga is leading the suite of initiatives in partnership with funded agencies and sector stakeholders, to deliver the total of $374 million over four years. This includes both short-term relief and emergency relief to respond to the Delta outbreak and longer-term support to assist the arts, culture and heritage to maintain its critical role and contribution to Aotearoa.  

Funding initiatives

COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding

$37.5m funding will be brought forward from the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme to support the cultural sector through the COVID-19 Delta response. 

Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund

The  Emergency Relief Fund provides up to $5m to support cultural organisations, including sole traders, at clear risk of no longer operating viably, who will not receive funding through cultural entities or other government agencies. This fund is now open.

Te Tahua Āki Auahatanga
Cultural Sector Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund provides $60 million over three years to support innovative projects that improve the sustainability and resilience of the sector. Round one is being delivered through a nationwide events series, Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa.

Te Tahua Whakahaumaru
Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund

The CARE Fund provides $70 million over three years to create employment and training opportunities, ensure vital skills, talent and creative infrastructure are not lost, and maintain and expand public access to creative and cultural experiences.

Te Tahua Whakakaha
Cultural Sector Capability Fund

The Capability Fund provides $20 million over two years to support the cultural sector to adapt to the COVID-19 environment by funding activities that build skills and knowledge, and provide access to advice, services, tools and resources.

Mātauranga Māori 
Te Awe Kōtuku programme

The Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme provides $20 million over two years to fund at least 18 diverse initiatives which will support iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to safeguard at-risk mātauranga from the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Other initiatives

Whakapā mai ki a mātou
Contact us 

For all queries, please contact the Manatū Taonga team at [email protected]

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