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Key timeframes

Dates to submit your application

Applications for the 2024 Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund closed on 13 October 2023. Applications for the 2025 round will be open from around September 2024.

Who can apply

To be eligible you must be a recognised local government or community organisation, group, or collective, based in Aotearoa New Zealand with:

  • an existing role in community activities and services
  • the ability to demonstrate your role in delivering community activities
  • the capacity to administer and support the proposed event
  • commitment to provide an evaluation of the event after it has been delivered.

If we identify information that does not support these eligibility criteria we won’t consider your application.

What activities can be supported

To be successful event activities must meet the following criteria:

  • the event theme and activities focus on the commemoration of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi and its signing
  • the event increases awareness and knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi
  • the event celebrates and shares local Māori stories and shows meaningful iwi/hapū engagement and support
  • the event promotes and encourages wide community participation by encouraging other cultures to share their experiences, stories and perspectives
  • applicants demonstrate how their event will meet the accessibility needs of their community, including those with disabilities
  • the event takes place on or near Waitangi Day (6 February), or on days significant to the signing of the Treaty in a particular community or rohe.

We will prioritise activities that:

  • show meaningful engagement and support between iwi, marae, local government and community groups
  • deepen understanding about Te Tiriti

We will not fund:

  • individuals (you must apply as part of a group, collective or organisation)
  • mid- to long-term education programmes or resources
  • travel to Waitangi or the Bay of Islands
  • the purchase of alcohol.

Main steps in fund process

  1. Check you are eligible to apply.
  2. Prepare your application.
  3. Submit your application through our funding portal.
  4. We evaluate the applications.
  5. We notify successful applicants and prepare funding agreements.
  6. You deliver your events and submit to us your evaluation report.

Prepare your application

In your application you will need to provide the following information:

  • event name and a short description
  • how your event meets each criteria of the fund
  • when and where the event will be held
  • event schedule
  • your approach to implementing the event
  • your budget for the event
  • supporting documents including letters of support and evidence that you are operating as an organisation, group or collective.

The application form in the portal has guidance to help you answer the questions. The following section gives an overview of what information you will need to provide.

Event details

The application form has 13 questions, where you will either describe your event or select from dropdown options, to tell us things like your event location, venue type and what cultural elements you will include.

You will also need to provide detailed responses to the following five funding criteria: 

1. Describe your event and how your event theme and activities focus on the commemoration of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi and its signing.

  • Tell us your event theme and the reason why it was chosen.
  • How does your event theme relate to the commemoration of the signing of Te Tiriti or Final Deed of Settlement for your community or rohe?
  • How is the date of your event significant to the signing of Te Tiriti or Final Deed of Settlement for your community or rohe?

You will need to provide enough detail for the panel to understand and evaluate your event and understand how it is important for the commemoration and community. For example:

A free, all-inclusive family friendly fun day featuring food stalls, cultural performances, storytelling, and workshops. The interactive workshops, aimed at a range of age groups, will give participants an opportunity to learn a variety of traditional and modern crafts such as flax weaving and poi making as well as to learn basic te reo Māori and more about Te Tiriti o Waitangi ׀ the Treaty of Waitangi.  Exhibitions will be held displaying educational resources on Te Tiriti o Waitangi ׀ the Treaty of Waitangi including a small quiz booklet aimed at children, and guest speakers will lead a discussion on the history of the Treaty. 

2. Describe how your event increases awareness and knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • What stories are you sharing about Te Tiriti?
  • How have those stories helped (or will help) to shape your community?
  • How will information about Te Tiriti be shared with the people who attend your event?
  • How will you engage the people who attend your event to increase their awareness of Te Tiriti?
  • What do you hope people will take away from your event?

3. Describe how your event celebrates and shares local Māori stories and shows meaningful iwi/hapū engagement and support.

  • What Māori activities and/or performances will you have for the event?
  • If you are telling a story from a particular perspective, whose perspective is it and why was it chosen?
  • How are iwi/hapū involved in the planning and delivery of your event?
  • How will iwi/hapū stories of Te Tiriti be shared and who will tell the stories?

4. Describe how your event promotes and encourages wide community participation by encouraging other cultures to share their experiences, stories and perspectives.

  • How will your event attract local communities and groups to attend and participate?
  • Do you have different communities in your rohe and region that are involved in the planning and delivery of the event?
  • Have you secured support from local councils or different communities for the event?
  • What other cultures’ activities or performances will be included in the event?

5. Describe how your event will meet the accessibility needs of your community, including those with disabilities. 

  • Consider accessibility for all disabled people, older people and young people.
  • What are you doing to include people with physical and mobility challenges, and mental, intellectual or sensory impairments?
  • How are you planning to make your event accessible to as many as possible?

Making your event accessible

More information on designing accessible events is available on the Ministry of Social Development website and in our Word guidance below.

Accessible meetings and events (MSD website)

Event schedule

Your event schedule includes adding the event date, the district or city where the event will be held and the anticipated audience size. 

Implementation approach

Your implementation approach tells us the main activities you will do to deliver your event, who is involved and your timeline. We need to have confidence you have the appropriate steps in place for the event to be successful. 

When outlining your implementation approach, consider:

  • What needs to be done to prepare for your event and who is responsible for the work?
  • What are the risks of delivering your event in a public space and how will you mitigate them? Consider health and safety, audience management and security management.

Event budget

Your event budget tells us about the funding and costs of your event.

You need to complete the budget template and attach it to your application as supporting information. This will be made available once the fund is open.

Make sure that your template reflects your GST status. If you are:

  • GST registered the values you provide are GST exclusive. You will receive GST in addition to your grant payment
  • not GST registered, the values you provide reflect the amount you are required to pay.

What you need to include in your budget

Event income

Enter the total amount of:

  • funding you are asking for from Manatū Taonga
  • funding you have from other sources such as community trusts, philanthropists or private donors, and other grants
    • note what costs the funding is related to
    • note what funding has been committed or received or funding you are unsure about
  • value of other contributions such as volunteer hours and other in-kind donations
  • total cost of the event.

Event expenses

Include all the costs of your event and provide detailed descriptions for each cost, for example, hiring the hall venue or employing a lighting technician for the event at $45 per hour.

Supporting documents

To support your application, you need to upload:

  • Your completed budget template for the event.
  • Two letters of support for the event.  The letters must be current and specific to the event. We recommend including letters from your local council and local iwi.
  • One document that validates you are operating as an organisation, group or collective.

Relevant evidence includes:

  • documentation of constitutional arrangements such as the trust deed or certificate of incorporation
  • a formal letter from your district Māori council or appropriate iwi authority
  • a copy of a Māori Land Court Order
  • proof of organisational structure, or copies of minutes of regular meetings or annual general meetings.

Submitting your application

All applications must be submitted through our online portal. To do this you will need to:

  • Sign up as a user: If you already have an account, log in with the same username and password you have previously used. If you need to sign up, use your name and email address. 
  • Create an account for your organisation: If you have created an account before and are applying on behalf of the same organisation, use the same account you used previously. 

If this is your first time or you’re registering on behalf of a different organisation, create an account for that organisation. 

  • Submit your application: Once you’ve created an account you can complete your application by selecting ‘Apply’ from your home page.  

You can save, close, and return to your application at any time before you submit the form. 

You will not be able to submit your application forms until all mandatory questions have been answered. These are marked with an asterisk * and will show up in red if you try to submit without completing them.  

Application evaluation process

Your application will be evaluated by a panel we administer. The panel will evaluate the application against the applicant criteria and event eligibility criteria. We will make the final funding decisions.

What happens if you are successful

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to enter into a funding agreement with us.

The panel may recommend awarding a different level of funding than what you applied for. If this happens, and it means your event is not feasible to deliver you don’t have to accept the funding offer.

We will publish successful applications on this website including:

  • the name of your group, collective or organisation
  • the name of your event
  • a short description of your event
  • the location of your event
  • the amount awarded.

2023 successful applicants

What happens if you are unsuccessful

You will receive a notification email letting you know the outcome of your application. We can give you feedback about why your application was unsuccessful if you ask. 

Delivery and reporting

If you are successful, you must provide us with an evaluation and expenditure report one month after the event. If you do not report back, it will affect your ability to receive funding through this fund in the future.

You must let us know about any significant changes to your event, including to the event date or contact information.

If your event cannot take place for any reason, you must let us know immediately. You may be required to repay the grant. If your event is unable to go ahead due to unforeseen circumstances, you may be able to keep some funding to cover non-recoverable costs, subject to a discussion with us.

Protecting your information

We willl only use personal information provided in your:

  • Manatū Taonga online portal account
  • application.

By applying, you authorise us to disclose information to, or obtain information from, any other government department or agency, private person, or organisation for the purposes of administering the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund.

We will hold all your information securely and will only share it more widely if we must under the law in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. When we no longer need your information, we will securely archive or destroy it in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005. 

We will publish details about your event such as the applicant’s name, the event name and location, a short event description, and the amount of funding. We will not publish any commercial or confidential information unless you agree in writing.

Email us if you’re concerned about the information that we hold about you at [email protected]

What the terms and criteria in this guide mean

Below we provide some more detail and examples to help you understand terms and criteria in this guide and how they apply to you.

Commemoration of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi and its signing

Applicants to the fund should explain how their event is deepening and broadening the conversations about Te Tiriti and be able to demonstrate that recognition of Te Tiriti is a central event theme. Activities could include exhibitions, korero, re-enactments, storytelling, a quiz and more.


The panel is made up of government and/or sector representatives who will assess your application against the criteria.


Consider factors that will ensure your event is accessible to everyone, such as event communication, venue, parking, toilet facilities, seating and signage. We recommend you also consider whether any equipment or New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreters are required to make the event inclusive to everyone.

Your event should be free to attend. A small koha may be acceptable. Free entry means that no-one can be charged or feel like any money is required to view, engage or participate in the event. Associated optional purchases (such as food, drink or merchandise) or donations are acceptable as a part of the event, so long as they don’t create any type of perceived or real barrier to entry.

Non-recoverable costs

If you have committed costs before needing to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances, these costs can still be paid from your grant and the remainder returned to us.