Ethnic Communities Development Fund - 2019 addition

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Government has agreed to a $1million one-off additional funding round to the Ethnic Communities Development Fund. This is part of the Government's response to the recent attacks in Christchurch.

The fund is now open.

There is no closing date for this Fund. It will remain open until the total amount of $1 million has been allocated.

Funding is applicable to projects started on or after 15 March 2019.

For other funding options please visit the Community Matters website or contact a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or by email at

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Improving New Zealand’s social cohesion and supporting the development of established and emerging ethnic communities.

What we fund

This additional one-off funding round particularly aims to strengthen ethnic communities affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.


The fund is available for projects that:

  • respond to affected communities – particularly in Christchurch
  • bring communities together to promote inclusion, safety, understanding, and community harmony
  • encourage interaction between different communities
  • build capability within ethnic communities

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What we do not fund

Grants will not be awarded to projects that are:

  • for ongoing salaries, and/or administration costs
  • grants to individuals
  • for research or capital works
  • for debt repayment
  • specifically intended to generate profit
  • to promote commercial, political objectives or religious ministry
  • fundraisers
  • for alcohol and similar substances

Who can apply

  • Groups with projects that benefit ethnic communities in New Zealand.
  • Groups without legal status are limited to a total of $10,000.Grants over $10,000 may only be approved to organizations with legal entity status.


  • Legal entity status includes, but is not limited to, incorporated societies, Trusts registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, companies with charitable purposes, local authorities, school boards of trustees and/or Māori trust boards in accordance with the Maori Trust Boards Act 1955.
  • Registration with Department of Internal Affairs Charities Services does not confer a legal status.

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Funding available

$1 million is available.

There is no limit to the amount that your group can request.

How decisions will be made

Grant decisions will be based on those requests that show:

  • the project is aligned with the purpose of the fund and one of the funding priorities
  • the project is well designed and planned
  • the group has the capability and capacity to deliver a successful project
  • the project has clearly defined benefits with an outcome (or outcomes) that can be measured and evaluated
  • the project has a clear start and end date within the funding period
  • the project will be undertaken in New Zealand

The Office will establish a Panel to make funding recommendations to the Director, Office of Ethnic Communities. Membership of the Panel will change annually as membership rotates. The final decisions regarding funding are made by the Director, Office of Ethnic Communities. Any correspondence or communications about the fund will be through the Department of Internal Affairs.

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Making a funding request

Groups must provide the following financial information to support their request for a grant.

  • the most recent set of annual accounts, financial statements or performance report
  • a budget showing how the grant will be used.

See further information about applying for grants.

See our Hertiage and Community Language Celebration Guidelines with practical advice for organising a language celebration.

Additional information

Successful Grants - 2018 Funding Round or (PDF 168kb)

Successful Grants - 2017 Funding Round or (PDF 152kb)

Successful Grants - 2016 Funding Round (PDF 302kb)

See your organisations previously submitted request

Contact details

For assistance call 0800 824 824 or email

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Last updated 17 April 2019