Advice about currently funded projects

We understand that COVID-19 can create uncertainty for those of you with Creative New Zealand-supported work and projects that are already underway. Below you’ll find information and guidance about some potential scenarios.

Updated 10 September 2021

Note: this advice is about project funding grants – it doesn’t relate to activities within our Tōtara and Kahikatea investment clients’ agreed programmes and budgets.

Once you’ve read the scenarios below, you can email us if you wish to propose changes to your project as a result of the impact of COVID-19. We’ll then contact you to discuss.

We anticipate it will take us some time to be able to respond to everyone with affected projects, as well as those enquiring about our current funding rounds (see our funding calendar) so we appreciate your patience. 


Due to COVID-19, the project I’ve already received Creative New Zealand funding for has been postponed or I wish to delay the project.

If you need more time to complete a project you were granted funding for after 1 July 2020 due to a COVID-19 impact, you can request an extension of up to six months from the original project end date.

The grant can’t be repurposed to a completely new project or activity that was not part of your original application and will not have been assessed against the relevant funding criteria.

If you expect to still deliver your project and report within the contracted reporting time, there is no need to request an extension. For example, if your project completion date was 30 September, then your reporting deadline would be 30 December. If you are able to deliver your project and submit your report by 30 December, you don’t need an extension.

The total grant amount awarded for your project cannot be changed but budget lines (i.e. how you can spend the money/what you spend the money on) can be changed, with agreement from us. You’ll need to email us at


Due to COVID-19, the project I’ve already received Creative New Zealand funding for has been cancelled.

If you have spent some of your grant, you will need to return any of the unspent amount to us if it is greater than 10% of the grant. For example, if you received $5,000 and the unspent amount is $500 or less, you will not need to return the unspent amount.

The following also applies:

  • You should seek refunds for any costs that you have already incurred. You will need to provide proof for any costs already incurred that are non-refundable.
  • You can reallocate your grant to honour personnel costs or contracts with freelancers and artists who would have been involved with delivering your project. You will need to detail for us where you intend to reallocate this funding and have that agreed in advance.
  • You can reallocate some of your grant to lost income if the projected income was listed in your application budget. You can deduct this from funds that may need to be returned.
  • Any variances from your original project and/or budget need to be reported on in your project completion report.

If you have spent your entire grant and can provide proof that it was spent on costs that are non-refundable, you will need to report this in your project completion report.


I’m facing changing costs for my project due to COVID-19 but plan to go ahead with the project.

We appreciate that costs and ways of delivering projects are significantly changing. The grant amount awarded for your project cannot be changed but budget lines (i.e how you can spend the money/what you spend the money on) can be changed, with agreement from us. You’ll need to email us at


I’ve been funded but haven’t yet requested payment of the grant.

If you haven’t yet requested payment of a grant notified after 1 July 2020, your grant is still available for you. Please note we will not release the funds until three months prior to the project start date.

Once you receive your grant, you will need to provide a statement advising us if there is a change to the project plan, or if you wish to follow any of the guidelines already laid out above (for example, an extension request or changing budget lines). We may also ask for a new COVID plan showing how your project can be delivered at all Alert Levels. If you need help with developing a COVID-19 contingency plan, see our guide here


My arts project is not currently impacted by COVID-19 and I plan to go ahead with the project.

No action is required, but please contact us if the situation changes.


I’ve submitted my application to a current funding round but it has been affected by COVID-19. Can I unsubmit my application?

If you had submitted an application via our online application portal for a funding round that is currently open or at assessment that has now been affected by COVID-19 Alert Levels, you can ask us to unsubmit your application. You can take content from it for an application for an open or future funding opportunity. Your application is still available in the portal, so you’ll be able to access it there.

Projects previously declined across any funding opportunities may be considered for resubmission in limited circumstances at the discretion of Creative New Zealand. For more information see our Funding Guidelines – Reapplying for the same project

We also encourage all artists, art practitioners, art groups and arts organisations to consider if they’re eligible for the government wage subsidy. A wage subsidy is still available to all New Zealand businesses and self-employed people that meet eligibility criteria under Alert Level 2, if any part of the country is at Alert Levels 3 or 4.


I’m due to submit a project completion report however, I’m delayed in completing it due to the COVID-19 Alert Level changes.

We appreciate that COVID-19 is having an impact on people’s ability to deliver and complete projects, which in turn prevents them from submitting their project completion reports. If you require an extension, you can request this in the Portal. Please be sure to include the reason(s) for the extension request.