As part of the response to the Christchurch terror attacks, we have opened a $1 million one-off funding round. It will remain open until the total amount has been allocated.

What we fund

The fund aims to strengthen ethnic communities affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.


Will be given to 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

For information on making a request for funding please contact a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or email

Apply now button(external link)

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 organisations 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. The Panel members for the 2019 additional round are:

  • Grace Ryu
  • Fungai Mhlanga
  • Birgit Grafarend-Watungwa
  • Nigel He
  • Mastura Abd Rahman

The Panel is chaired by Sandra Mackenzie, Office of Ethnic Communities. 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(external link) showing how the grant will be used.

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

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

Contact details

For assistance call 0800 824 824 or email

The Ethnic Communities Development Fund supports the Office of Ethnic Communities' Focus Area 4: Valuing diverse cultures and ethnicities within communities, wider society and the nation.

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