Tohunga Tukunga Mentoring Programme

The Tohunga Tukunga mentoring programme offers funding to help preserve and pass on contemporary and traditional Ngā Toi Māori (Māori arts) knowledge and practice. Three mentoring opportunities are available in each of the three annual funding rounds.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently

up to $5000

9 Feb 2018

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Ngā toi Māori .

1. Check your eligibility

Project timing

Your project, or the stage of it for which you are seeking funding, must:

  • start after 16 March 2018 (for the 09 February 2018 closing date)
  • be completed within 12 months of us offering you the grant.

Benefits and track record

To be eligible for Creative New Zealand funding:

  • Your project or activities must directly benefit New Zealand arts, artists or practitioners.
  • You must have a track record of experience and success — this means you must have:
    • recognition from peers or experts
    • achieved a degree of critical or sales success
    • specialised training or practical experience.

If you don't have the track record we're looking for, you may be able to get funding through the Creative Communities Scheme

Who can apply

To apply for Creative New Zealand funding, you:

  • must be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or organisation (overseas arts organisations or overseas-based New Zealand artists may be funded only if the project directly benefits New Zealand arts)
  • cannot be a Creative New Zealand staff member or a member of the Arts Council
  • cannot be funded by a government agency, tertiary education organisation (TEO) or local authority unless the proposed activity goes beyond their core activity. Applications from staff or contractors of a TEO, or a TEO subsidiary, must disclose the full extent of the support they will receive from the TEO for their proposed project. 

Late reports and breaches of agreements

We cannot fund you if you, your organisation, or key members of your team:

  • are more than 16 weeks overdue with a report for a previous grant or investment
  • are in breach of the conditions of a current funding agreement
  • were in 'default' of a funding agreement and sent in a late report in the six months prior to the closing date for a new application.

Other funding

Your project cannot have received funding from any other Creative New Zealand programme or initiative, including the Creative Communities Scheme, our international and capability building initiatives and investment programmes.

Organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes are not eligible to receive funding during the period of their funding agreement.

How often you can apply

  • You can make up to two applications in a funding round.
  • Each application must be for a different project.
  • You can apply up to four times in total in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December) for a Quick Response Grant, Arts Grant, Toi Ake and/or Tohunga Tukunga, eg two arts grant applications and two Toi Ake applications.
  • If we turn down an application, you can only reapply for the same project if you have written permission from the Manager, Arts Grants.

2. See what's funded


The aim of this programme is to enable Māori communities to support tohunga to pass on cultural traditions and artistry.

The mentoring programme must deliver to our long-term goal (outcome) of:

What we mean by mentoring

Our 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
  • building knowledge of the professional arts sector.

What costs we fund

As the mentee, you can apply for funding towards:

  • a fee for the mentor or reasonable expenses, for example, telephone calls and transport
  • the cost of engaging a mentor to work with you as you develop an exhibition, production or presentation, but not the costs of the exhibition, production or presentation.

What we don't fund

Creative New Zealand does not fund:

  • projects and activities that are able to be funded by other government agencies or local authorities
  • game design, fashion design or commercial design
  • education resources and activities that are part of a course of study
  • content for television, radio or film
  • marae restoration or adornments such as whakairo, tukutuku and kōwhaiwhai.
  • buying capital items
  • buying or renovating buildings
  • an organisation's ongoing administration or infrastructure costs, except through our investment programmes. 

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

How to apply

To apply for Tohunga Tukunga:

  1. Start your application online under Quick Response (you may need to register first). Applications open six weeks before the closing date.
  2. Gather artistic support material.
  3. Prepare a budget using the budget template in the online application portal.  See the budget guidelines above.
  4. Submit your application online by 5pm on the closing date.

Login or register to apply online

4. Assessing applications

Who assesses your application

Your application will be assessed by an external peer assessor. Recommendations are made to the Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services for decision.

Assessment criteria

Your application will be assessed on:

  • how well your project will deliver to our long-term goal (outcome) that high quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • how strong and how well-developed your idea is
  • the degree and/or strength of Mātauranga Māori concepts evident in the practice and results of the project.

5. Notification of results

Five weeks after the closing date we will email all applicants of the result.

  • For the 9 February 2018 round we will notify you on 16 March 2018 (Friday)

We also list successful applicants at who got funded

If you are successful we will email you about:

  • your funding agreement
  • payment schedule
  • reporting requirements.

6. On completion

Reporting on your project

A project completion report is required within 12 weeks of the project end date using the report template. To be considered for further funding, your report needs to be submitted on time.

Project Completion Report template (doc 106KB)


7. Who to contact

For more information or advice: