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Regional Culture and Heritage Fund

Round five of the RCHF is now closed

Applications for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF) closed on 20 March 2020.  

The successful Round 5 applications will be announced in due course, pending the decision making process underway at present. Keep an eye on our website for updates.

Further information about the RCHF is listed below.

Overview of the RCHF

The Regional Culture and Heritage Fund is contestable fund of last resort which contributes typically no more that the last third of the qualifying capital project’s cost.

The RCHF accepts applications from institutions for genuine fundraising shortfalls, for qualifying capital projects at public: museums; galleries; iwi museums/whare taonga; heritage buildings or complexes housing significant collections; and performing arts venues. 

Some entities and activities are excluded under this Fund’s criteria. Therefore we recommend that all potential applicants contact the Ministry to discuss eligibility before committing to the expense of preparing an application.

Grant rounds are usually held once per year to enable government to compare and contrast the range of project(s) which have reached their critical mass within their communities but still have genuine fundraising shortfall(s). 

This fund does have limited resources so projects should not be developed on the assumption that RCHF funding can and will be available.

Strong applications will be able to demonstrate that the project has already secured funding from a broad range of other known sources.

While open to applicants from throughout New Zealand, the fund’s primary focus is to support capital projects outside the main centres of Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Therefore, projects located in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch remain eligible to apply and these applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Click on the followings links to read through key related documents:

RCHF Policy, Criteria, and Checklist

RCHF Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Applicant agreement and coversheet form

How to apply

Before submitting an application, all potential applicants should contact the Ministry by phone: (04) 496 6175 or email [email protected] and discuss their project. 

Interested parties who are not yet ready to apply, but would like to know when rounds are being called, can ask to be registered on the RCHF alerts database by emailing us at [email protected]. Please include a phone number and a brief description of your project.

Previous RCHF Grant Decisions

A map showing the regional spread and key information for previous RCHF (Rounds 1 to 4) funding decisions can be viewed below. Media releases detailing previous funding decisions can be found here.

Help for projects outside the scope of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund

To assist you with finding information on other potential sources of funding, you might wish to visit our Funding Sources page to learn more about other potential sources of both funding and fundraising assistance.

A range of Lottery Grants are available to support community services. Visit to find out more and to apply online. We recommend contacting Lottery Grants Board officials first to confirm best fit and to hear any changed information in relation to their Funds. Their free phone number is 0800 824 824.

Generosity New Zealand provides online search tools which offer access to nearly $4 billion of funds. A relevant product is givUS which lists more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and Iwi. You can freely access this database at public venues such as public libraries and council offices throughout New Zealand.

Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has several funds relating to tourism and regional growth. We recommend visiting the MBIE website and their regional website Grow Regions. Relevant funds could include the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and the Provincial Growth Fund.

Private owners of earthquake prone Heritage NZ listed buildings are encouraged to investigate their eligibility for Heritage EQUIP funding. Early contact with your nearest Heritage New Zealand office is also recommended.


Updated on 26th March 2021