This month signals the new 2023/2024 financial year for the Ministry for Ethnic Communities and, with it, a new funding round of the Ethnic Communities Development Fund (the Fund) with an allocation of $4.2m. 

The purpose of the Fund continues to be to support a welcoming and inclusive Aotearoa, New Zealand, where ethnic communities connect and take part in society. Since the Ministry was established in July 2021, $8.4m has been distributed via the Fund to around 400 ethnic community groups or organisations, funding over 600 individual projects.

Given the significance of this investment to ethnic communities, the Ministry has been reviewing the way the Fund is managed to ensure it meets the needs of those accessing and benefitting from it.

Chief Executive for the Ministry for Ethnic Communities, Mervin Singham, has confirmed that from 3 July 2023, a new Community Funding team will be established within the Ministry, which will be directly responsible for administering the fund.

“I am delighted to share that starting July, we will be making some improvements to enhance the efficiency and responsiveness of the Fund, catering to the dynamic needs of our ethnic communities,” Mervin Singham said.

“The role of our new Community Funding team is to offer support and guidance for those applying for funding and to minimise any barriers within the funding process. We have also streamlined the application process to create a more user-friendly experience.”

“As part of these improvements, we re-aligned the priorities of the Fund with the four key strategic priorities for the Ministry”. “We need to ensure the funding available is invested in the areas communities told us were most important to them,” Singham said.

From July, funding applications will need to show how their project meets one of the four priorities, which are:

  • Promote the value of diversity and improve inclusion
  • Equitable provision /access to Government services
  • Improve economic outcomes/ barriers to employment
  • Connect and empower ethnic community groups

To make access to funding support easier, the Ministry have introduced an Ethnic Communities Development Fund Hub, now available on the Ministry’s website.

The Hub will serve as a resource for applicants, providing detailed information about the Fund, its criteria, the application process, helpful tips, instructional video, success stories from community groups that have benefited from the Fund, a list of funded groups, and details about other funding opportunities available for communities in New Zealand.

Follow the Ministry’s social media pages Facebook or LinkedIn  or go to the Ethnic Communities Development Fund Hub available on the Ministry’s website to keep updated on funded projects and initiatives throughout the year.


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