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Questions and answers

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If your question isn’t answered below, please contact the Manatū Taonga team at [email protected]


About the Capability Fund

What is Capability funding available for?

The Capability Fund is designed to support the cultural sector to develop capability to adapt and respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Funding will support projects that:

  • build skills and knowledge
  • provide access to external advice or services
  • provide access to tools and resources.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Capability Fund provides funding for cultural sector leadership organisations to deliver projects that build the capability of the individuals and/or organisations they support or represent.  

This includes:

  • guilds, societies, associations and other organisations that collectively represent and support practitioners, businesses and organisations within an industry or artform
  • organisations that collectively represent and support Māori arts, culture and heritage practitioners, businesses, groups and organisations; or another cultural/community group within the sector. This includes iwi, hapū and marae organisations
  • organisations that collectively represent and support arts, culture and heritage practitioners, organisations and businesses from a region or locality.

Many individuals, organisations and businesses in the sector are represented by, or associated with, a leadership organisation which means they can benefit from projects delivered through this funding. 

By focusing on these leadership organisations, we’re aiming to leverage existing connections and expertise and encourage collaboration to benefit a wide group of organisations and individuals. 

Who will make decisions on which applications are funded? 

Applications will be evaluated by a panel, administered by Manatū Taonga and including members with sector knowledge and expertise. Based on the evaluation panel recommendations, decisions on the allocation of funding will be made by Manatū Taonga.  

How will you prioritise applications during the evaluation and decision-making process? 

Higher priority will be given to applications that demonstrate one or more of the following: 

  • collaboration and/or collective benefit
  • benefit to regions and communities outside of the main centres
  • benefit to independent artists or practitioners
  • benefit to Māori. 

How was the cultural sector involved in designing the Capability Fund? 

Manatū Taonga engaged with the sector on the draft approach for the Capability Fund in September 2020 via an online survey and targeted focus groups.   

The feedback we received confirmed the purpose and scope of the Capability Fund and informed refinements to the fund outcomes, more targeted eligibility settings, and the development of funding priorities and delivery settings for round one.

Following round one, Manatū Taonga has reviewed the fund settings. While there is no change to the Fund’s purpose, scope, outcomes and funding priorities, we have refined our delivery approach for round two. Read an overview of the Capability Fund round two.


About funding round one

Which organisations received funding in round one?

Information about round one recipients will be available soon.

If I receive seed funding in round one, when do I apply for project funding?

Seed funding recipients will be expected to submit an application for project funding in round two, which is planned to open in early November 2021.


About funding round two

When will round two open?

We expect to open the second round of the Capability Fund in early November 2021.

Who will be eligible for funding in round two?

Like round one, round two is open to cultural sector leadership organisations to deliver projects that build the capability of the individuals and/or organisations they represent and support. 

This includes:

  • guilds, societies, associations and other organisations that collectively represent and support practitioners, businesses and organisations within an industry or artform
  • organisations that collectively represent and support Māori arts, culture and heritage practitioners, businesses, groups and organisations; or another cultural/community group within the sector. This includes iwi, hapū and marae organisations
  • organisations that collectively represent and support arts, culture and heritage practitioners, organisations and businesses from a region or locality.

Round two will be open to seed funding recipients from round one and other cultural sector leadership organisations.

By targeting cultural sector leadership organisations, we aim to leverage existing connections and expertise and encourage collaboration to benefit a wide group of organisations and individuals within the sector. 

More detailed guidance about eligibility will be available closer to the funding round opening.

What can cultural sector leadership organisations apply for in round two?

The Capability Fund is designed to support the cultural sector to develop capability to adapt and respond to the challenges of COVID-19.

Cultural sector leadership organisations can apply for up to $400,000 of project funding.

Funding will support projects that:

  • build skills and knowledge
  • provide access to external advice or services
  • provide access to tools and resources.

More detailed guidance will be available closer to the funding round opening.

Can cultural sector leadership organisations apply for seed funding in round two?

No seed funding is available in round two, as we expect this to be the final Capability Fund round.  

Why has the total funding amount available reduced in round two?

Based on the experience of round one, the maximum funding amount of $400,000 is aimed at ensuring we can fund exceptional proposals while spreading the benefit of funding as widely as possible.   

When will more information be available?

More detailed information including further guidance about eligibility and how to apply will be available closer to the funding round opening. We expect to open round two in early November 2021. Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive an alert when more information is available. 


Updated on 18th May 2021