Tohunga Tukunga Mentoring Programme

The Tohunga Tukunga mentoring programme offers funding to help preserve and pass on contemporary and traditional Ngā Toi Māori 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 $5,000

4 Oct 2019

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Ngā toi Māori .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can apply

To apply for the Tohunga Tukunga Mentoring Programme, you must be:

  • Māori, and your proposed project must be managed or directed by Māori
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (each individual)

If an organisation is applying for funding on behalf of an individual, that person must also be Māori.

New Zealand‐based organisations can apply but the organisation must be owned and managed by Māori.

If you are an arts organisation or NZ artist based overseas you can apply. But, the application must:

  • show direct benefit to NZ arts
  • be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from a well-established artist or arts organisation based in New Zealand.

Project timing

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

  • start after 13 December 2019
  • be completed by 13 December 2020.

Benefits and track record

To be eligible for Creative New Zealand funding:

  • our 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

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) through Arts Grants (including Toi Ake, Toi Tipu Toi Rea and Tohunga Tukunga).

Reapplying for the same project

You can only reapply for the same project if you have written permission from the Manager, Funding Services. Contact Funding Services first to see if your application would be eligible for re-submission. 

Other Creative New Zealand 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.

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.

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.

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.

Te Hā o ngā Toi – Māori Arts Strategy 2019 – 2024

The revised purposes of the Arts Grants programme align with the features of our Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua and our Māori Arts Strategy Te Hā o ngā Toi

Te Hā o ngā Toi is a five-year strategy with four focus areas:

  • Advance ngā toi Māori practice development
    More opportunities for Māori artists to develop their arts practice, skills and progress their careers in Aotearoa and internationally.
  • Increase public engagement with ngā toi Māori
    More opportunities for New Zealanders to access and experience ngā toi Māori in communities and regions across Aotearoa.
  • Build a stronger sector to advance ngā toi Māori aspirations
    The arts sector champions ngā toi Māori and mātauranga Māori.
  • Working collaboratively with others to strengthen ngā toi Māori
    Partnering with Crown and cultural agencies to strengthen Māori artists and arts.


We encourage applications to the Tohunga Tukunga Mentoring Programme to adopt a fair remuneration approach with application budgets.

  • At a minimum, we advise that applications include pay rates of at least $25 per hour for artists and arts practitioners.
  • 'Fair remuneration' means pay rates for more experienced artists and arts practitioners should:
    • be at a level above or well above the minimum
    • be inline with their relative skills and experience
    • recognise the duration of the project and other work-related factors (i.e. the ‘contract’ nature of the work).

What we don't fund

  • Activities that are the funding responsibility of other government agencies, eg feature films, music videos or content for radio or television.
  • Activities that are associated with the 2020 Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (as funding has been provided through the selection of the official Aotearoa Delegation).
  • Game design, fashion design or commercial design.
  • Education resources and activities that are part of a course of study in New Zealand.
  • 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.
  • International promotion of NZ literature. Applications can be made to the Publishers Association of New Zealand
  • Activities that are part of the core business of a Tertiary Education Organisation (TEO) or a territorial local authority (including a Council Controlled Organisation). 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. Where equivalent, competing applications are received from TEO applicants, and those not, priority is given to freelance artists and practitioners.

3. Make an application


Register or Log in

How to apply

  1. Log in to the portal and select either Arts Grants Up to $10,000 | 2019 Round 2.

  2. Read the Application guidelines and requirements for specific activities (pdf 176KB)

  3. Prepare a budget using the budget template in the online application portal or the Excel template supplied in the Budget Guidelines

  4. Gather artistic support material. Read the Support material guidelines

  5. Complete each question in the portal application form.

  6. Submit your application online by 5pm on the closing date.

See 4. Assessing applications for more information about the assessment process and criteria.

4. Assessing applications

What we assess your application on


Is it a strong idea? We look for the following indicators:

  • The artistic aims are clearly expressed.
  • The idea is compelling.
  • The artistic outcome and/or participant experience is likely to be high quality.


Can it be achieved? We look for the following indicators:

  • The process to achieve the idea is realistic and well planned.
  • The budget is thorough and accurate and considers fair remuneration for practitioners.
  • The people involved have sufficient experience to deliver this project.

Strategic fit

Does it deliver to Creative New Zealand outcomes? We look for the following indicators:

  • The project delivers to the selected Creative New Zealand strategic outcome.
  • The project delivers to the selected Arts Grants Programme Purpose.

You must choose one of these Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes to be assessed on:

  • New Zealanders participate in the arts.
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • New Zealanders experience high-quality arts.
  • New Zealand’s arts sector is resilient.

You must also choose one of these Arts Grants Programme Purposes to be assessed on:

  • More sustainable careers for individual artists.
  • The development of arts practice.
  • Innovation in New Zealand arts.
  • Access and participation of diverse communities in high-quality arts experiences.

More about the purposes under See what's funded

Ngā toi Māori assessment

In addition to the above, your project will be assessed as Ngā Toi Māori. 

Mātauranga Māori will be assessed on:

  • Mātauranga Māori being evident in the practice of the project
  • Mātauranga Māori being evident in the proposed outcomes of the project.

Scoring your application

This assessment scale is used to score Idea and Viability:

7 – Excellent – Exceeds all indicators
6 – Very Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in two
5 – Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in one
4 – Acceptable – Satisfies all indicators
3 – Minor reservations – Satisfies two indicators only
2 – Major reservations – Satisfies one indicator only
1 – Unacceptable – Does not meet the indicators

The following assessment scale is used to score Strategic Fit and Mātauranga Māori. (Note: double weight will be applied to Strategic Fit).

5 – Excellent - Exceeds both indicators
4 – Very good - Exceeds one indicator
3 – Acceptable - Satisfies both indicators
2 – Weak - Satisfies one indicator
1 – Unacceptable - Does not meet either indicator

Who assesses your application

External Māori peer assessors will assess your application. Recommendations are made to Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services for a decision.

Nominate peer assessors for our funding programmes

External peer assessors are asked to evaluate a range of applications made to Creative New Zealand’s funding programmes and initiatives against specific criteria.

Peer Assessor nomination form (doc 167KB)

Peer Assessor terms and conditions (pdf 259KB)

5. Notification of results

We will email all applicants their result ten weeks after the application closing date. We will notify on 13 December 2019.

We also list successful applicants on Who got funded

If you are successful we will email you about your:

  • funding agreement
  • payment schedule
  • reporting requirements.

6. On completion

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.

Login to report online

7. Who to contact

For more information or advice: