Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

$20K Opportunity for Cultural Events

Creative and cultural practitioners have a new way to bring their events to life with the announcement of more funding opportunities.


Celebrating the many cultures of Aotearoa isn’t just a creative outlet, it’s an imperative part of this country’s broadening identity.

Those who are proactively protecting their heritage and sharing it with their fellow New Zealanders now have a new way to get their events off the ground.

Cultural sector practitioners, creatives, collectives or organisations will be buoyed by the announcement of the first funding round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events.

There are a few caveats that must be adhered to for any application. They must be:

  • Free for people to attend or experience 

  • In easy-to-access spaces like parks, community hubs, shopping malls, marae, churches or along a waterfront

These drives to bring culture and creativity to communities - particularly outside the metro areas -  can apply for funds up until 7 May from anywhere between $1,000 and $20,000.

Taking culture to the community

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni sees these funds as “ensuring everyone is able to access and enjoy arts and cultural experiences in their everyday lives.”

She adds, “this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a range of creative and cultural content including ngā toi Māori, Pasifika art, and collaborations in cultural installations and events across Aotearoa.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

“We’re prioritising projects led by Māori and Pacific cultural sector organisations and practitioners, and look forward to seeing our cultures expressed in many ways and places.

“Priority will also be given to projects that support access for people with disabilities, provide skill development opportunities for emerging and established cultural practitioners, and create employment in the regions.”

Continuing to CARE

It’s another element of the Government’s $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery Employment (CARE) Fund - following on from February’s $18 million cash injection into creative spaces.

It’s all part of the overall $374 million Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme revealed last year. 

“The initiative will ensure resources are sourced from within Aotearoa, and that practitioners involved in projects are fairly paid for their mahi,” states Sepuloni. “This also underlines Budget 2020 funding of $4 million to lift the standard of remuneration for those working in the sector, through the Fairer Wage for Artists and Arts Practitioners initiative.”

What qualifies as a cultural event?

Performance at Pacific Heritage Arts Fono. Photo: Raymond Sagapolutele.

Sepuloni gives examples ranging between “Pacific dance events or kete weaving demonstrations on beaches that encourage people to join in; in heritage collections shared in community libraries; or visual art installations throughout towns and cities.”

If you’re not sure if your cultural event, installation or idea fits the bill, Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage are hosting an online discussion on 14 April for creatives to pose their questions and explain the funding process.

While this will provide a huge boost for many event and installation organisers, those looking at a larger scale will have to bide their time. The second round, expected to open in late August for applications up to $100,000.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

12 Apr 2021

The Big Idea Editor