Activities we fund

Creative New Zealand funds across a range of different activities within the arts. These are activities that will deliver the results we are seeking. 

Some activities have specific eligibility criteria. These are listed below:


Commissions must result in works that are ready for an initial public presentation, for example, a performance, an exhibition or a manuscript. Applications must include evidence that the work is likely to result in a public presentation. 


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Public artworks 


Grants for commissioning permanent public artworks will be directed towards artists' fees and 

material costs. Your application will need to: 

  • provide details of:
    • the selection process, including the membership of the selection committee and their 
  • expertise;
    • the selected artist and proposed project; 
  • explain the national relevance of the artwork; 
  • explain how the project is consistent with the local or regional public artwork strategy; 
  • include a letter from the local territorial authority that:
    • confirms their interest in and financial commitment to the project; 
    • states the long-term maintenance plan for the proposed artwork; 
    • explains how they will ensure best practice for copyright protection for the artist
  • include a copy of the proposed contract with the artist.

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Music and new work 

Support is available for the commissioning of new music or sound work. You must be a performer, practitioner, ensemble or arts organisation who will premiere the new work, and the fee applied for must be provided to the composer. Your application must tell us when and where the new work will be premiered, and by whom. 


If a new work will be premiered by an overseas-based performer/s, ensemble or arts organisation, the composer must submit the application and include written evidence that the overseas party has agreed to present the work. 

Composers can also apply for support to create or ‘self-commission’ new work. As with commissions(above), there must be a performance of the new work.

Creative New Zealand prioritises high-quality New Zealand work that will receive multiple live performances and engage new and/or diverse audiences. If the work will receive multiple performances, include details in your application, for example confirmations or strong expressions of interest from other performers or arts organisations.

You will also need to tell us how new and/or diverse audiences will be reached and be able to describe the type(s) of audience for your work. A useful resource to help you think about your audience is Culture Segments New Zealand.

Commission applications should include evidence that the commissioned composer has agreed to the fee and any terms and conditions as negotiated by both parties. The Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) provides a sample commissioning agreement

Support for score preparation, preparation of parts and costs associated with first or subsequent performances are not eligible for support where the focus of the project is on the creation of the new work.


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Community arts 

Creative New Zealand is interested in projects that:

  • create opportunities for communities to engage with and participate in the arts; 
  • contribute to the maintenance and transmission of cultural traditions 
  • provide a creative focus for communities to explore issues and aspirations. 

For a community arts project to be eligible for an Arts Grant:

  • the communities or defined groups of interest who are involved in the project must be clearly identified in the application form and project proposal
  • the funding applied for must contribute to arts-based or arts-related activities 
  • the project must have regional or national significance if supporting recreation and leisure activity or the maintenance and transmission of cultural traditions.

These are examples of community arts activities that can be supported:

  • the collaboration of an artist with a community or with diverse community groups to achieve artistic and social outcomes (Community Cultural Development)
  • an established professional practitioner sharing knowledge and skills with recreational and/or heritage arts groups.

Important: If you have received Creative Communities Scheme funding, you cannot apply for an Arts Grant for the same project.


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Funding up to a maximum grant of $30,000 is available if you are running a competition that supports professional development, reaches new audiences, or develops young artists. However, this funding cannot be used for competition prizes.


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Design: Craft/Object and other artforms

Creative New Zealand supports studio-based design, giving priority to furniture and object-based design proposals. Please discuss your design project proposal with the relevant arts adviser before you apply. Funding is available for:

  • research and initial development of the new work
  • public presentation of the new work, but not its commercial production.

Other design projects that can be supported include those that:

  • recognise and build on the interaction between design and craft/object practice 
  • survey aspects of design history and place New Zealand design in artistic, cultural or social contexts.

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Digital documentation of productions 

If you are applying for funding for the premiere of a New Zealand production, we recommend you include up to $5,000 in your budget to make a high-quality DVD to document the work. We are more likely to fund this if an experienced digital arts practitioner is involved.


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Documentary and archival projects

Funding of up to a maximum grant of $30,000 is available to support documentary or archival projects on a New Zealand artist or artform. You should apply under the relevant artform or cultural arts practice.

Please discuss your application with an arts adviser before you apply. If your project is a narrative short or feature film, or you are seeking funding to attend an overseas A-list festival with your film, please contact the New Zealand Film Commission.


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Festival budgets

Funding requests need to be for specific, identified events that are part of the festival programme. Shortfall budgets - where Creative New Zealand funding is requested to make up the shortfall between budgeted income and expenditure - are not acceptable. 

Festivals in the Pacific 

Pasifika community groups applying to attend festivals in the Pacific to learn about heritage arts need to show that:

  • they will be attending workshops or other forums to gain vital skills and knowledge not available in New Zealand, and
  • they will be passing on these skills and knowledge to their community in New Zealand

Literary Festivals

Funding is available for published New Zealand writers to present and promote their work at a New Zealand literary festival or as part of the literary component of an arts festival. The organiser’s application should be for an identified component of the budget (e.g. New Zealand writers’ fees, New Zealand writers’ travel or accommodation costs).

Pan-artform festival definition

Creative New Zealand defines a ‘pan-artform festival’ as an activity or series of events that meets all of these criteria:

  • it involves at least three artforms
  • the main focus is on the development or presentation of the arts, including community participation in the arts
  • it has an overall artistic vision and a programme that is conceived, produced, curated, marketed and presented as an integrated package
  • it occurs within a defined area or region and within a defined period of time
  • it engages the community through participation and attendance.

Pan-artform festival funding guidelines 

If you are intending to apply under the Pan-artform category, you must discuss your application with the relevant arts adviser before you apply. 

If you are applying for funding for a pan-artform festival involving an integrated programme of work, you must complete the specific Pan-artform Festivals Budget Template in addition to the usual application template.

These guidelines on the level of funding available are based on a percentage of the total amount of the festival’s revenue: 

  • for festivals with little or no track record of Creative New Zealand funding, support may be offered for one or two identified events within the festival programme, up to a maximum of 4% of the festival’s revenue
  • for festivals with a track record of Creative New Zealand funding and successful delivery of a multi-artform integrated programme of New Zealand work, funding up to 9% of the festival’s revenue may be offered to:
    • support the presentation and transmission of Māori or Pacific heritage artsup to a maximum
    • support the presentation of a number of New Zealand works as part of the festival programme and/or
  • for festivals with a track record of Creative New Zealand funding, funding of more than 9% and up to 12% of revenue may be available for programmes which include any of the following: 
    • the presentation of a work in two or more centres within the region/rohe of the festival
    • the development and presentation of new New Zealand work and/or 
    • arts projects with a focus on professional artists working with communities to participate in, and develop, the arts
  • a Pan-artform festival that is unable to supply accurate revenue, expenditure and attendance information about previous festivals will be limited in funding to between $1,000 and $15,000, depending on the nature of the activities being supported.

What do we mean by revenue?

Revenue refers to all the income required to deliver the festival including: 


  • the applicant’s own financial contribution
  • the total support requested from Creative New Zealand
  • support from other stakeholders or funders
  • sponsorship
  • accurately valued in-kind support such as essential goods or services provided by third parties
  • income received through the sale of work, ticket sales, book sales, workshop fees and stall-holder fees.

Assessment of pan-artform festival applications will also take into account:

  • the festival’s ability to present and transmit Māori heritage arts and Pacific heritage arts
  • the geographical location of a festival and potentially limited opportunities for generating local support and sponsorship
  • the festival’s commitment to reaching diverse audiences
  • the festival’s ability to engage its local community, attract youth audiences and/or encourage arts participation.

Māori or Pacific arts festivals

Support may be available for festivals in New Zealand that provide opportunities for:

  • the presentation and transmission of Ngā Toi Māori or Pacific heritage arts
  • commissioning or employing New Zealand artists to create and present work;
  • community arts projects that focus on professional artists working with communities, or that have regional or national significance
  • presenting and promoting New Zealand work that engages new and diverse audiences
  • workshops, wānanga, fono, forums, master classes, seminars and other opportunities for creative and professional development for New Zealand artists and practitioners.

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Creative New Zealand uses the term ‘inter-arts’ to mean an arts practice that uses skills, techniques and processes drawn from the range of artforms or cultural arts practices that we support, which are craft/object, dance, literature, Māori arts, music, Pacific arts, theatre and visual arts.

Your application may not be suitable for assessment as an inter-arts project if: 

  • it is mainly focused on one artform, but contains elements of other artforms
  • it contains elements of a discipline or practice not included in the above list of artforms and cultural practices.

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Bringing international artists to New Zealand

You can apply for funding to bring international artists to New Zealand if their visit will have direct creative or professional-development benefits for New Zealand artists, practitioners or arts organisations. Examples would be workshops or master classes, or helping New Zealand artists to develop their work. You cannot apply if the main focus of the artist’s visit is to perform, exhibit or develop their own work.

International professional development and postgraduate study

Funding up to a maximum grant of $12,000 is available to support a New Zealand artist’s international professional development or international postgraduate study. You can apply for up to 80% of the overall cost of the opportunity, but you must provide evidence that:

  • comparable opportunities are not available in New Zealand
  • this is an important opportunity for your career development
  • this is an important opportunity to acquire skills which will inform your ongoing arts practice

You can apply for funding for:

  • accommodation for workshops, wānanga or fono
  • reasonable travel and living expenses
  • tutors’ fees.

If you are a musician you may be able to apply for a scholarship for post-graduate study. Please see

If you are a writer invited to attend an international literary festival, you may be able to apply for support through the International Travel Fund for writers, see the New Zealand Book Council website for more details.

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A maximum grant of $5,000 is available for mentoring. Only the mentee can apply for funding for a mentoring project. Funding is usually directed towards a fee for the mentor or reasonable expenses, for example telephone calls and transport. 

Creative New Zealand’s definition of mentoring is when an established artist or practitioner 

(the mentor) passes on skills or knowledge to a less experienced artist or practitioner (the mentee). This may involve giving feedback on a project, helping the mentee develop skills, or building knowledge of the professional arts sector.  

The application from the mentee will need to identify:

  • the time period
  • the focus of the proposed mentoring 
  • evidence that the mentor is prepared to be involved.

A mentoring application should not include the costs of an exhibition, production or presentation. However, an application can include the cost of engaging a mentor to work with a mentee as they develop an exhibition, production or presentation.


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Support is available for emerging and established New Zealand artists to make recordings of original high-quality New Zealand music.

We do not set any standard recording length for grants as this this will depend on the purpose of the recording. We can also support the recording of sound art that can only be distributed and experienced in recorded form.

Applicants are not eligible to apply to us for a recording grant if they have already received support or intend applying for recording funding to NZ On Air’s Making Tracks or Te Māngai Pāho’s contestable fund for Māori Music CD productions.

A recording project where the main purpose is to distribute the recording via retail or online platforms is not eligible for funding. Similarly living expenses, such as accommodation and travel costs are not eligible.

Applications must include:

  • the purpose of the proposed recording, for example to support a tour, a live or digitally mediated performance, or for promotion 
  • how the proposed recording and associated activities (i.e. touring, performance or promotion) will support artist professional or creative development 
  • audio samples of the work to be recorded (up to 10 minutes) 
  • a description of the target audience 
  • promotion and distribution plans 
  • evidence of effective management 
  • other financial or in-kind support (to be shown in the budget). 

If funding is sought for only one or two parts of a recording project (for example, recording, mixing, mastering or manufacturing), the applicant must outline their plans for the other part/s of the project. The amount requested should reflect the number of people involved and their experience, the costs involved for the relevant delivery formats (CD, vinyl or on-line), and the scale of the project.

The maximum funding available is: 

  • $15,000 for emerging artists; 
  • $25,000 for established artists.

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If you are developing or presenting work that involves new media or digital technology your 

application will need to specify the appropriate artform. This will depend on the nature of the work and on how audiences engage with it. For example, if a moving image work is to be exhibited in a gallery, the appropriate artform would be Visual Arts.


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Creative New Zealand uses the term ‘Heritage arts’ to mean the artistic expressions and forms that reflect a particular cultural tradition practised by a Pacific Island group or nation.

Pasifika communities, cultural groups, arts groups and individuals based in New Zealand who wish to preserve, develop and transmit a particular heritage artform or cultural arts practice can apply for funding for the following types of activities: 

  • Pasifika crafts and handicrafts – for example, tivaevae, tatau (traditional tattoo), canoe building, carving, costume-making, importing raw materials, tapa-making and weaving
  • festivals or gatherings (such as workshops or fono) that support learning, sharing and the passing on of knowledge for Pasifika crafts, handicrafts and performing arts
  • Pasifika language maintenance projects that encourage the preservation and transmission of a Pasifika language alongside artform practice – for example, oral history or publications relating to heritage artforms.

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Artform publications

Creative New Zealand accepts applications from individual artists, galleries or publishers. The main focus is to support:

  • publications that have a tailored distribution strategy 
  • co-publishing partnerships 
  • independent publishers or galleries with experience of producing and distributing publications.

We prefer that you have a publishing partner because this helps offset the costs, shows that there is audience demand, and ensures that the publication will be distributed as widely as possible.

You need to provide the following information in your application:

  • an overview of the intended audience and distribution strategy, including: 
  • an overview of the design concept, format and print specifications, including the names of designers involved
  • an overview of the content, including the names of the writers and editors involved, and samples of their writing (if applicable)
    • a print quote that confirms the print run 
    • how the publication will be promoted and distributed, and to whom 
    • the number of complimentary copies and who you intend to give them to 
    • the number of copies for sale, whether through informal or established distribution channels
    • distribution data from any previous project (if applicable) 
  • information about the publishing partnership, including a letter from the publishing partner (if applicable), confirming their interest and their financial commitment to the project
  • a budget that reflects all project expenses and income, including any expected sales income for the first 12 months (if the publication is to be sold).

Creative New Zealand can provide support for fees for writers, designers, photographers and editors, and for printing and distribution costs. 

Literary magazines and review journals

As well as addressing the key questions set out under each heading in the application form, publishers of literary magazines or review journals must also:

  • demonstrate editorial and publishing expertise and the ability to promote, market and distribute the magazine or journal nationally
  • describe any measures used or to be used to evaluate artistic quality
  • detail any future plans for increasing reader numbers and income
  • give details of the previous year’s print run
  • provide evidence of contributors from throughout New Zealand
  • provide evidence of the publication’s target audience
  • provide information about the distribution strategy
  • report on actual sales figures and income from the previous year’s publication against budgeted figures
  • include details of the publication’s retail price, subscription rates, and the number of complimentary copies distributed, and to whom. 

Music publications

Creative New Zealand can support the publishing of monographs, essay series, journals, music scores and critical writing about New Zealand music. Your application must include evidence that you have permission to use copyright material. If the copyright holder has licensed work, we need to know the limitations imposed on the rights granted. Music publishers should state whether they are members of APRA.

Publishing subsidies and Publishing Block Grants

Creative New Zealand provides incentives to publish high-quality New Zealand literature taking into account any profit likely from book sales. Subsidies are available at set rates and can be applied for as:

  • either an individual publishing subsidy via the Arts Grants or Quick Response funding rounds (up to two titles are allowed per application, and four applications per calendar year), or; 
  • a Publishing Block Grant through the Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) programme – publishers can apply for up to 10 titles per application.

Please use the Individual Publishing Subsidies Budget Template on the Creative New Zealand website if you are applying for an individual publishing subsidy. Individual Publishing Subsidies Guidelines are available also.

Publishing subsidy rates

The current maximum publishing subsidy rates for all publications are:

  • books up to 100 pages: $2500; 
  • books between 100 and 200 pages: $3000; 
  • books between 201 and 300 pages: $3500; 
  • books between 301 and 400 pages $4000; 
  • large, heavily illustrated books $10,000; 
  • children’s picture books up to 16 pages $2500; 
  • children’s picture books over 16 pages $3500. 

The following additional subsidies are available for literature in te reo, a Pasfika language, non-fiction or for an artform publication.

  • up to 100 pages: $2500
  • 100–200 pages: $3000
  • 201–300 pages: $3500
  • 301–400 pages: $4000
  • large heavily illustrated books: $10,000
  • children's picture books up to 16 pages: $2500
  • children's picture books over 16 pages: $3500.

Additional funding above these subsidies rates may be available if a publisher can demonstrate the work is of an exceptional nature.

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New Zealand residencies

Applications must be made by the host organisation. If the residency is within an educational institution, the application also needs to show how the artist’s activity will be distinct from the institution’s ongoing educational programme. Applicants are advised to discuss their application with an arts adviser before submitting their application. 

International residencies

Creative New Zealand has established partnerships with a number of overseas institutions to host residencies for New Zealand artists. Information is available at


You can also apply for funding for a residency at an institution with which Creative New Zealand has no formal partnership. A wide range of opportunities are listed on the website of the International Association of Residential Arts Centres, at


Applications to undertake an international residency should include:


  • details of the host organisation’s curatorial emphasis or artistic direction
  • a letter or email confirming that you have been selected for the residency
  • evidence that the host is contributing towards the costs of the residency (this could be through either a payment to you the artist, or through in-kind support such as accommodation or studio space)
  • evidence of the creative-development and professional- development opportunities that the residency offers – for example, evidence of the intended focus of your artistic work during the residency, or of the quality of previous residents, or of the host’s facilities and personnel.

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Showing evidence of demand

Applications may be strengthened where there is evidence of demand. Examples of demand include:


  • box-office income or recording sales
  • fees to be paid by practitioners enrolled in a professional-development course
  • performance or appearance fees being paid by venues or presenters.

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New Zealand touring

Creative New Zealand defines ‘touring’ as involving three or more consecutive performances, presentations or exhibitions in different locations. If you are proposing to tour a previously presented production, exhibition, and performance or published writer, your application must provide evidence that:


  • the tour initiator will have the services of an experienced and credible producer, curator or tour manager with responsibility for overseeing:
    • delivery of the tour 
    • the ability of the host venues to successfully deliver the presentation 
  • there is audience demand – for example by showing:
    • that presentation fees will be paid by a local festival, gallery or venue 
    • previous audience demand for the type of work 
    • that local groups will share the cost of presenting the work in the area 
  • the production, exhibition or performance will be appropriate to the selected venue 
  • the tour initiator has:
    • identified its likely audiences 
    • a sound marketing and promotional plan to reach these audiences. 

Focus of funding for domestic touring

Visual Arts and Craft/Object


  • crating and freighting the touring work within New Zealand
  • generic marketing and promotion expenses for the tour
  • publishing catalogues

Performing arts (Theatre, Dance and Music) 

Funding is available for touring to venues, except for those supported through Creative New Zealand’s Regional Touring Fund.


It is available for:


  • travel, accommodation and fees for the artists and practitioners 
  • freighting of sets, props, costumes and equipment 
  • generic marketing and promotion expenses for the tour

You will need to show how box-office income or other income generated from the tour will contribute to the other costs of the tour.


  • travel, accommodation and fees of touring writers
  • generic marketing and promotion expenses for the tour

International touring

Funding is available for the international touring of distinctive, high quality international-ready art by New Zealand artists and practitioners.


Funding will contribute towards:


  • the international travel and freight costs (including travel and freight insurance) for the New Zealand artists, practitioners, productions and/or artworks
  • up to $10,000 towards proven costs associated with presenting the work internationally, for example translating and printing a catalogue, remount costs, and materials used in creating site specific work.

For your project to be eligible the host or presenter who has extended the invitation must contribute towards the landed costs of the project.


Examples of a host’s or presenter’s contributions would be: 


  • artist and practitioner fees
  • accommodation expenses
  • venue hire and promotion expenses

Your application must also show evidence of demand for the work – for example, a letter from the presenter confirming the presentation, or the payment of artist and practitioner fees, box-office or sales revenue.


Creative New Zealand also supports international touring through the International Presentation Fund. There is also an International Travel Fund for writers, see the New Zealand Book Council website for more details. 


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Funding can support website projects that:


  • create, promote or distribute quality New Zealand artwork, or
  • engage in artform development and arts criticism.

Requests for support can be towards developing a new website or maintaining an established website. You will also need to show how the website will fill current gaps by providing a unique experience or content in that artform.


Funding applications for web-based art projects can seek a contribution towards the fees charged by New Zealand artists and practitioners involved in the project.

Funding for established websites

Up to $30,000 per year is available for editorial costs. You can also apply for contributing writers’ fees and up to $5,000 for placing work directly on the website.


Your application will need to include:


  • evidence of demand and support for the website – for example, a copy of the site’s monthly usage and visitor statistics for the previous six months
  • information about how the website is being promoted to new audiences
  • if you are applying for ongoing development of the website:
    • the names and backgrounds of the website designers/developers and a quote for the work;
    • details of the additional functionality to be provided and its benefits.

Funding to develop a new website

A maximum grant of $5,000 is available to develop a new website. Your application will need to include:


  • details of the functionality and purpose of the website, including a quote for the work from the website designers and developers
  • a detailed plan of how the website will be used to engage with existing and new audiences.

Costs of placing work on websites 

Costs related to the placing of work on a website may include:


  • the costs of web page design;
  • buying software needed to operate the website;
  • the cost of converting text, sound or visuals into web-appropriate formats (e.g. HTML or XTML)

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