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Regional Culture and Heritage Fund

In May 2016 the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage announced the launch of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund to replace the Regional Museums Policy for Capital Construction Projects. 

RCHF Round One decision announcements

Successful applicants in Round One are the Nelson School of Music ($1.5 million), Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery ($10 million) Whanganui Museum ($400,000), Whakatane’s Museum and Research Centre ($1.5 million), Gore's Eastern Southland Gallery ($110,000) and Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre ($368,000).

RCHF Round Two decision announcements

Masterton’s Shear History Trust is the sixth and final allocation from Round Two receiving almost $23,000.

Previous announcements include $4 million for the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, $3 million for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre, $1 million for Foxton's Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, $900,000 for the ASB Theatre Complex in Blenheim and $1.08 million to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust in Stewart Island.

RCHF Round Three decision announcement

The Lawson Field Theatre in Gisborne is receiving a capital grant of more than $400,000 towards seismic strengthening.

A map of Round One, Two and Three funding decisions can be viewed here.

RCHF Round Four

A decision on the timing of a fourth round has yet to be made. Intending applicants should contact the Ministry and sign up to the RCHF alerts database.

Overview of the RCHF

The Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (the RCHF) replaces the Regional Museums Policy for Capital Construction Projects (the RMP). 

Click here to view a chart showing RMP funding allocated between 2001 and 2015.

The RCHF eligibility criteria are sufficiently broad to enable the Fund to benefit a range of cultural organisations throughout New Zealand: in the broader art gallery and museums sector (including iwi museums/whare taonga), the performing arts, and the heritage sector.

The RCHF’s focus is capital projects outside the main centres of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Projects located in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch remain eligible for grant consideration and applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

While the nature of the applying institution’s collection(s) will still be taken into consideration when assessing applications, museums and galleries are no longer required to demonstrate they hold a collection of national significance in order to be eligible for a grant.

Key RCHF criteria include being a contestable fund of last resort and the thirds funding sources model which promotes a mix of local government, philanthropic and community fundraising with central government funding. 

A larger version of the above diagram showing Round One, Two and Three funding decisions can be viewed here.

Potential applicants should contact the Ministry to discuss their project and add their details to the Ministry’s call alerts database. Register here to receive an email when this alert status text is next updated.

Click on the followings links for:

RCHF Policy, Criteria, and Checklist

RCHF Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Applicant Declaration Form

We recommend all intending applicants contact us first before preparing an application.

Discuss your project with Ministry for Culture and Heritage staff by phone:

Telephone: (04) 496 6175 or (04) 499 4229

Or email on:

Email: RCHF@mch.govt.nz

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

To assist you with finding information on potential sources of funding, we have made a table of current Government funding sources. Click here to view this table.

You might also wish to visit our Funding Sources page to learn about other potential sources of funding assistance.

Private owners of earthquake prone Heritage NZ listed buildings are encouraged to investigate their eligibility against the newly established Heritage EQUIP Fund’s key criteria here.

Lottery Grants

A range of Lottery Grants are available to support community services, relevant grants include:

  • Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities provides grants for marae to develop, improve or restore their facilities and to protect and conserve marae taonga.
  • Lottery Significant Projects Fund provides grants to purchase, create or improve community assets that have regional or national significance.
  • Lottery Environment and Heritage grants are available for projects that will help protect, conserve or care for our natural, cultural and physical heritage, or allow us to better understand and access these resources

Visit Communitymatters.govt.nz to find out more about these grants and application details.

You may also wish to contact Lottery Grants Board officials to discuss your project by using their free phone number 0800 824 824 or by visiting the Department of Internal Affairs website which contains Lottery Grants Board information.

Generosity New Zealand

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. View a map of New Zealand to see where you can freely access this database at public venues.

Heritage New Zealand

Visit Heritage New Zealand's website for details about funding for heritage protection offered by various agencies.

Tourism Infrastructure Fund

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund replaces the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, providing $100 million over four years for the development of tourism-related infrastructure such as carparks, freedom camping facilities, sewerage and water works and transport projects. Visit MBIE's website for more details.



Updated on 27th September 2017