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Creative New Zealand received an initial $25 million to support the creative sector through its Emergency Response Package. In early 2023, it received a further $12 million to help meet increased funding demand and $16 million to ensure arts institutions could retain their critical infrastructure, retain staff and stay open.  

A further $10 million was given to Creative New Zealand for festival grants. These supported established festivals to continue to deliver their programmes celebrating the life experiences, stories, cultures and regional identities of New Zealanders.

Festival grants (Creative New Zealand)

The Royal New Zealand Ballet received $2.031 million over three years.

Creatives in Schools

Creatives in Schools supports artists and creative practitioners to partner with schools and kura to share their specialist skills and knowledge with students. We delivered this initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Creative New Zealand.

Creatives in schools (Ministry of Education)

Creative Careers Service

The Creative Careers Service pilot was started in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson.

The free service is open to:

  • Ministry for Social Development creative job seekers
  • recent creative graduates outside the benefit system
  • established creative sector workers who have lost income due to COVID-19.

It aims to develop participants’ non-creative skills and knowledge that are necessary to gain employment or to grow and thrive in the creative sector. 

Creative careers service (Work and Income)

We partnered with the Ministry for Social Development to design the service. It is being delivered by contracted providers from the creative sector.


New Music Fund

The New Music Fund boosted NZ On Air’s New Music programmes by $7.178 million over two years to support the production of new music.

The New Music Fund was delivered by NZ On Air and the NZ Music Commission.

Apply for Music funding (NZ On Air)

NZ Music Month and Outward Sound Make Good funds

A total of $1.4 million was available for both the NZ Music Month Make Good Fund and the Outward Sound Make Good Fund. These funds helped 60 New Zealand artists and music businesses recoup lost income and costs incurred due to COVID-19 cancellations in 2020.

Music Venue Infrastructure Fund

This fund provided $3 million to upgrade music venues across Aotearoa to ensure safe environments for audiences, workers and artists. The fund supported 85 venues in 26 towns and cities. Grants were up to $50,000 per venue.

Aotearoa Music Touring Programme

The Aotearoa Music Touring Programme gave $5 million over two years for New Zealand artists to perform original live music on tour in Aotearoa. Seventy-six artists and businesses were awarded funding to tour Aotearoa.


Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga received $11.3 million over four years to address existing cost pressures and enable it to continue its vision of heritage being valued, respected and preserved for present and future generations. This included $250,000 towards investigating the seismic upgrade and refurbishment of Turnbull House.

Te Papa Tongarewa received $18 million to remain open to the public and continue to connect treasured collections and taonga to New Zealanders.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust received $1.4 million to continue its heritage conservation work in Antarctica and continue to inspire young explorers in New Zealand.

The Waitangi National Trust received $4 million to ensure the Waitangi Treaty Grounds remained open to the public.

Audiovisual collection digitisation

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, National Library and Archives New Zealand received funding for the digitisation of high-risk audiovisual collections.

The Government provided $10 million over four years for operations, with $3 million each year continuing in outyears for the three institutions. Further capital funding of $32.9 million over four years will support building the required capability.  This will include securing a vendor to digitise at-risk magnetic collections, managed in partnership between the institutions.

Museum Hardship Fund

The Museum Hardship Fund makes $4 million available through multiple funding rounds over three years. Te Papa National Service Te Paerangi administers the contestable grants.

The fund is open to any non-profit, community-run or volunteer museum, whare taonga or gallery of small to medium size, or whānau and hapū through the relevant iwi organisation.

See the list of recipients on Te Papa’s website.

Funding and grants (Te Papa)

Mātauranga Māori

Te Matatini support

Te Matatini received $2.43 million to help with its 2020/2021 kapa haka programme. This included $2 million to support the national 2021 Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival, and $430,000 to reimburse rohe (regions) for unrecoverable costs associated with 2020 competitions which were affected by COVID-19.

Te Matatini


Pasifika festivals initiative

Pasifika festivals received $12 million of funding over three years to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Creative New Zealand administered this initiative.

We developed and co-designed the initiative with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples based on Kaupapa Pasifika and Teu Le Va cultural concepts.

Fale Malae establishment

The Fale Malae Trust received $10 million to support the establishment of a New Zealand Fale Malae.


Screen Production Recovery Fund

The Screen Production Recovery Fund was available to productions, which had already received funded from the New Zealand Film Commission or NZ On Air, that were affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

The initial funding was $23.4 million, with an additional $17.2 million made available in response to the impacts of the Delta and Omicron variants in 2021 and 2022. The funding was extended to 31 January 2023 to maximise production activity and minimise the impacts of any further COVID-19 outbreaks.

Extended Screen Production Recovery Fund guidelines (New Zealand Film Commission)

Responding to Covid-19 (NZ On Air)

Te Puna Kairangi Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund

The Government made $50 million available for the New Zealand screen sector to tell our stories to international audiences.

Funding was delivered by Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission, Irirangi Te Motu NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho. The Fund was developed in partnership with us.

Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund (New Zealand Film Commission)