There is $4.2 million a year available through the Ethnic Communities Development Fund. The fund is available for projects that support ethnic communities to grow their skills, celebrate their culture and take part in society.

APPLY NOW(external link)

How to apply for funding, the sorts of projects we fund and where you can get help is provided below.

Who can apply

Any group can apply if your project supports ethnic communities in New Zealand.

Our definition of ethnic communities includes migrants, former refugees, long-term settlers, and those born in New Zealand who identify their ethnicity as:

  • African
  • Asian
  • Continental European
  • Latin American
  • Middle Eastern

Groups with legal status (includes trusts and incorporated societies) can apply for over $10,000. Groups without legal status can apply for up to $10,000.

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How to make an application

You will need to fill in a funding application(external link). Your project must support the purpose and one of the priorities of the fund. You can make more than one request in a year.


New Zealand communities are welcoming and inclusive, and ethnic communities connect and take part in society.


  • including and welcoming ethnic diversity into our neighbourhoods
  • promoting ethnic diversity and understanding – including educating New Zealanders about the contribution of ethnic communities
  • developing capability and ability within ethnic communities
  • encouraging participation in employment and society
  • supporting our ethnic communities to thrive through the practice and celebration of culture


Your group may want to hold governance training workshops that support women to participate on boards and committees. For the project to fit the purpose you can make the workshop available to women from diverse communities. This will show that your project is connecting different ethnic groups with one another. You will also need to explain how the project will fit one of the priorities. For example, the project will develop capability and ability within ethnic communities as it will provide participants with the fundamentals of governance and CV writing skills. At the end of the workshop this will empower participants with the right skills to take up governance opportunities in their region.

Once your application is submitted a panel looks at the application and makes funding recommendations on the project. The Director, Office of Ethnic Communities makes the final decisions about funding.

You will find out within eight weeks of applying whether you have been successful.

Please note we do not fund:

  • ongoing salaries, and/or administration costs
  • grants to individuals
  • grants for capital works
  • already completed projects
  • debt repayment
  • events intended to generate profit
  • businesses for profit, political goals, or religious ministry
  • projects to raise money
  • alcohol or similar substances.

See further information about applying for funding(external link).

Download an Ethnic Communities Development Fund - Changes [PDF, 408 KB]

Download an Ethnic Communities Development Fund - Apply Advice [PDF, 163 KB]

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Funding for more than one year is available

Your group can apply for multi-year funding if you:

  • have been set up for at least two years
  • show a good grant management history
  • have evidence of good governance and management systems
  • have experience in or can show experience in running a similar project
  • are a legal entity (such as an incorporated society) if the application is more than $10K for any one year.

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Get help with your application

For help with your application contact a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or email

Tips for writing a successful application

As well as showing how your projects supports the purpose and priorities there are a few other things you will need to include in your application.

You will need to show that your project will help an ethnic community or communities.

You will need to have a clear start and end date within the next year.

Your project needs to be well designed and planned and delivered in New Zealand.

Your project will need to use the funding within 12 months.


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Other funding options

If your group or project does not fit the purpose or priorties for this fund, there are other funds that you can apply for. To find out about other funding options, visit the Community Matters website(external link) or contact a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or email

Projects we have funded in the past

Successful funding - 2019 Additional Funding Round or in Abobe [PDF, 150 KB]

Successful funding - 2018 Funding Round or in Abobe [PDF, 168 KB]

Successful funding - 2017 Funding Round or in Adobe [PDF, 506 KB]

Successful funding - 2016 Funding Round or in Adobe [PDF, 498 KB]

See your group's previously submitted request(external link)

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