What you need to know

Applying for funding

There is $4.2 million a year available through the Fund. The priorities of the fund have been suspended until further notice. There are new, realigned priorities to support ethnic communities while they navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

To apply, you will need to fill in an application. You will be asked to show how your project supports the purpose and priorities of the Fund.


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


The realigned priorities of the Fund are:

  • Alternative means for ethnic communities to stay socially connected
  • Community Employment initiatives; and
  • Community resilience and recovery

Who can apply?

Any group can apply if your project supports ethnic communities in New Zealand to stay socially connected or promotes community resilience and recovery.

Ethnic communities: 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

Information on grants available to all communities is available at community.matters@dia.govt.nz.

Please note groups without legal status are limited to a total of $10,000. 

Timing for grants

There is no closing date, the fund is permanently open. You will find out if your funding has been approved within eight weeks of applying.

You can apply more than once. Your group will need to spend the funding within 12 months from when you get it.

Funding across more than one year is available for groups who have:

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

Is there anything you won’t fund?

There are some projects that are not able to get funding through this fund, like:

  • grants to individuals
  • grants for capital works
  • already completed projects
  • debt repayment
  • activities intended to generate profit
  • businesses for profit, political goals, or religious ministry
  • projects to raise money
  • alcohol or similar substances

How we make decisions

We have an internal panel that looks at all the applications and recommends the projects that should be funded. The Director, Office of Ethnic Communities makes the final decisions about funding.

To be successful, funding applications need to:

  • show how they support the Fund’s purpose and priorities
  • benefit an ethnic community or communities
  • be well designed and planned
  • show the group has the ability to deliver a successful project
  • have a clear start and end date within the next year
  • be a project that will be undertaken in New Zealand.

Need help or more information?  

Visit the Office of Ethnic Communities website (external link)or contact a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or community.matters@dia.govt.nz


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