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We administer Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History grants (the grants), which support community-led oral history projects that reflect diverse identities and perspectives.

Next funding round

Applications close on 15 April every year. If you would like to find out more, email us at [email protected].

About the grants

The grants provide financial help for oral history projects that relate to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand and its close relationship with the Pacific.

The funding came from the Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust for Awards in Oral History in 1990 to honour 150 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

How much money you can get

Each year approximately $100,000 is divided between the successful applicants, with each applicant generally receiving between $5,000 and $10,000 towards their project costs. Usually a maximum of 12 grants are awarded.

Since 1991, when the grants were first awarded, more than $2 million has been given to more than 400 community groups and individuals.

Previous recipients – Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, New Zealand Oral History Grants 

How the grants are assessed

Applications are assessed by a committee comprising people from around the country who have a range of experience with oral history and oral traditions.

What the grants can be used for

Applicants’ eligibility

Grants may be made to individuals or groups with a community-led project. We will give preference to applicants who:

  • have proven experience of successfully completing oral history projects, or
  • have completed training in oral history, or
  • are committed to completing training as part of the project or have experience in oral traditions.

What costs can be covered

Grants are given as a contribution towards the cost of recording interviews for oral history projects. They may be used to pay for training, travel and other expenses, such as having relevant photographs copied. The grants may also support the purchase of good quality equipment for audio and/or video recording if your application includes a quote from a retailer.

What type of projects are eligible

  • We welcome applications for oral history projects conducted in any language.
  • Recordings of waiata, haka and karakia are eligible for support from this fund.
  • Origin and journey stories of migrants and refugees living in Aotearoa are also very welcome.
  • We ask that you provide an abstract or time-coded summary in English to be deposited with the recording.

Abstracting oral history interviews: guidelines — National Library (PDF)

  • Video recording is eligible for funding as a component of an oral history project, but neither video nor film projects, in themselves, are eligible for these grants.

Successful applicants are eligible to apply for the cost of a one-year subscription with the National Oral History Association of New Zealand. We encourage you to become a member of the Association as it’s a useful way to engage with other oral historians across the country.

What the grants cannot be used for

  • The grants cannot be used for projects that are eligible for funding from tertiary institutions. Similarly, they cannot be used for university theses.
  • The grants cannot be generally used for funded institutions like museums unless they are largely run by volunteers and receive minimal funding from regional or national sources.
  • Employees of our Ministry cannot apply.
  • If you have already received a grant from this fund, you will not be eligible to apply for more funding until you have completed the previous project within the terms agreed.
  • We recommend that applicants undertake no more than 10 interviews per project grant.
  • The purchase of computers and stationery will not be funded.
  • The grants are not intended to cover full-time salaries for the period of the project. However, a standard fee per interview will be considered at a rate dependent on the experience of the oral historian.
  • Successful applicants are required to record their interviews using digital recording equipment only.
  • We fund only the recording and abstracting of oral history interviews, not any further work required to develop subsequent exhibitions or publications. For example, if your application for a grant to record 10 interviews, transcribe them and publish a book using the material is successful, you will receive funding only for the recording of the interviews. However, upon request we may fund transcription for accessibility purposes. The Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants may be your next step towards publication or exhibition.
    Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants
  • No work is funded retrospectively.

Conditions for successful applicants


You are expected to complete the project within 12 months of receiving the grant. Consider whether you can meet this condition carefully before applying.

Deposit the recordings

You must deposit the original recordings in the Oral History and Sound Collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Alternatively, with our consent, you can deposit the recordings in another archival repository or pātaka that can maintain their integrity into the future. We are happy to provide support and advice for archiving practices if you ask.

Recording agreements

For each interview you must provide an oral history recording agreement form signed by the person interviewed. This can specify interviewee preferences for giving access to their interview, including kaitiakitanga arrangements in perpetuity.

Oral history recording agreement — National Library (PDF)

Time-coded content summary

A detailed time-coded content summary or abstract for each interview must accompany recordings for deposit.

Progress reports

We will need you to provide regular progress reports until the project is completed.

Payment of grants

If you have not completed the required project reporting within 12 months, and you have not got our approval for an extension, we reserve the right to ask that you return the funding.

How to apply


If you have any questions about the grants, email us at [email protected]  or phone us on (04) 499-4229.