If your question about the Cultural Activators Pilot isn’t answered below please contact the Manatū Taonga team at [email protected].


About the Pilot

Why is this a pilot?

The Cultural Activators Pilot will run for one year initially so we can evaluate its success in increasing access and participation in cultural activities in the selected communities. The evaluation will inform decisions about any continuation or expansion of the Pilot.

About cultural activators

What will cultural activators do? 

Cultural activators will collaborate with their communities to tell their stories, build their creative skills, and connect them with opportunities in the wider cultural sector.

They will use their skills, experience, connections, and understanding of their community’s cultural needs and narratives to deliver projects with communities that share their unique stories and increase access and participation in cultural activities and in the wider cultural sector.

While all cultural activators will have similar core work, the detail of the work they do will vary in each community according to its needs

Why do cultural activators need to be established practitioners?

Established practitioners will have the skills, experience, and connections to be best placed to have the greatest impact as a cultural activator.

Why are some roles focusing on Māori and on Pacific peoples?

Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund prioritises communities that are underserved in the cultural sector. The Cultural Activators Pilot focuses on Māori and Pacific communities and regions outside Aotearoa’s main centres that are underfunded.

How will these be different for the roles focusing on Māori and Pacific peoples?

The cultural activators in roles focusing on Māori and Pacific peoples will also need to have knowledge of, connections with, and reflect their local Māori or Pacific community.

How can I become a Cultural Activator?

Host organisations will employ cultural activator roles directly. Recruitment processes and timeframes will vary from location to location.

What we fund

Who is eligible for funding?

Host organisations were required to:

  • be a cultural sector organisation (an organisation contributing to creating, presenting, protecting, and distributing arts, culture and heritage)
  • have legal status (for example, as a charitable trust or an incorporated society)
  • already operate in the pilot community.

There are additional requirements for organisations hosting Māori or Pacific cultural activators:

  • At least two of the four roles in the Far North, Kawerau, Gisborne and Wairoa districts were set aside for Māori cultural activators. Organisations applying to host Māori cultural activators were also required to be Māori-led, meaning they are Kaupapa Māori based and have Māori in leadership roles.;
  • Organisations applying to host the Pacific cultural activator in Māngere-Ōtāhuhu were also required to be Pacific-led, meaning they are Pacific values based and have Pacific people in leadership roles.

What are host organisations expected to do?

Host organisations will employ cultural activators and support them to deliver projects, and engage with other host organisations to share best practice.

What is eligible for funding?

Host organisations receive funding to cover salary, overhead, and project costs up to $180,000 a year.

Assessing applications

Who selected the host cultural activators?

Applications were evaluated by a panel, administered by Manatū Taonga and included members with sector and regional knowledge and expertise. Manatū Taonga considered the panel’s recommendations before making final decisions.

How were applications prioritised during the evaluation and decision-making process?

We prioritised applications from organisations that had:

  • strong knowledge of the cultural infrastructure in the community, including cultural practitioners in the community
  • proven standing/credibility in the community that their cultural activator will provide services to
  • a recent track record of supporting access and participation in cultural activities in the community they’re applying to host a cultural activator in
  • previously employed staff in a community-based outreach role. 

Updated on 6th August 2021