Toi Ake Fund

The Toi Ake Fund is an initiative tailored to iwi, hapū, whakapapa-based rōpū and mātāwaka to cultivate and retain heritage ngā toi Māori.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently

Between $10,000 - $75,000

28 Feb 2020

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Ngā toi Māori .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can apply

To apply for the Toi Ake Fund, you must be:

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

New Zealand‐based organisations can apply but the organisation must be a Māori-led arts organisation. If an organisation is applying for funding on behalf of an individual, that person must also be Māori.

International arts organisations can apply but the application must show direct benefit to NZ arts.

Project timing

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

  • start after 8 May 2020
  • be completed within a 12 month period and no later than 8 August 2021.

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.

For more information about track record requirements for your artform see our Funding guidelines - the artforms we support

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 the Toi Ake and Toi Tipu Toi Rea funds).

Re-applying for the same project

Email Funding Services to check whether you are eligible to resubmit a previously declined application. For more detail visit our Funding guidelines - reapplying for the same project

Other Creative New Zealand funding

  • Your project, or project phase, must not have received funding from any of our funding programmes or initiatives, including the Creative Communities Scheme.  
  • Organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes are not eligible to apply.
  • Does your project involve organisations in our Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes? Do you intend to partner with, or present at one of these organisations? If so, you must supply a letter from them that outlines their contribution to the project.

Breaches of agreements

We cannot consider an application if you, your organisation, or key members of your project team are in breach of the conditions of a current funding agreement, which includes missing the deadline for reporting on a previous grant.

For more information see our Funding guidelines – breaches of agreement

2. See what's funded


The Toi Ake Fund supports marae, hapū, iwi, whakapapa-based rōpū and mātāwaka to cultivate and retain heritage ngā toi Māori (Māori arts) and foster their distinctive arts and cultural practices.

The fund is offered twice a year with calls for applications in December 2019 and July 2020. Funding requests can be for projects $10,000 - $75,000.

What we fund

Toi Ake projects supported include:

  • heritage arts such as ngā mahi a Te Whare Pora
  • wānanga that pass on mātauranga and skills of karanga, whaikōrero, karakia, mōteatea, pao and whakapapa recitation
  • contemporary arts projects and the artworks of new wharenui

NOTE: we do not fund marae restoration. For marae restoration support please contact Te Puni Kōkiri’s Oranga Marae programme

Arts Grants Programme Purposes

The Toi Ake Fund is part of Creative New Zealand’s Arts Grants programme. The programme offers short-term project funding to New Zealand artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations that will enable the following:

  1. More sustainable careers for individual artists and arts practitioners
  2. Development of arts practice
  3. Innovation in New Zealand arts
  4. Opportunities for diverse communities to access and participate in high-quality arts experiences.

To receive funding from our Arts Grants programme your project must achieve one of the programme’s purposes. Be sure to make a statement in your application about how your project will achieve one of them. For more information see our Funding guidelines - Arts Grants programme purposes

Aligning with our 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. The four focus areas of the Strategy are to:

  • Advance ngā toi Māori practice development
  • Increase public engagement with ngā toi Māori
  • Build a stronger sector to advance ngā toi Māori aspirations
  • Work collaboratively with others to strengthen ngā toi Māori.

For more information see our Funding guidelines - Te Hā o ngā Toi


Applications to this fund should adopt a fair remuneration approach within application budgets. For more information see our Funding guidelines - remuneration

What we don’t fund

  • Activities that another Creative New Zealand funding programme or initiative is designed to support.
  • Activities funded by other government agencies
  • Education resources and activities that are part of a course of study in New Zealand including early learning, school or further education.
  • Game design, fashion design and commercial design
  • Purchase of capital items, renovating or buying buildings, or restoring marae
  • Activities that are part of the core business of a Tertiary Education Organisation (TEO)
  • Activities that are part of the core business of a territorial local authority or Council Controlled Organisation

For more information see our Funding guidelines – what we don’t fund

Additional activity guidelines and advice

Specific requirements and guidelines apply to some activities so you must check if any are relevant to your application. For more information see our Funding guidelines - activity guidelines and advice

Email Funding Services if you have further questions.

3. Make an application


Register or Log in

How to apply

  1. Log in to the portal and select Arts Grants 2020 Round 1 $10,000 - $75,000.

  2. Read the Funding guidelines

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

  4. Gather support material. Read the Funding guidelines - support material

  5. Decide whether you want your application assessed as General arts, Māori arts or Pacific arts (see below for information to help you choose)

  6. Complete each question in the portal application form.

  7. Submit your application online by 1pm on the closing date.

For more information about the assessment process and criteria see our Funding guidelines - assessment

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

Mātauranga Māori

The project will also be assessed on Mātauranga Māori:

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

Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes

In your application 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 arts gain international success.
  • 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.
  • Opportunities for diverse communities to access and participate in high-quality arts experiences.

See our Funding guidelines – Arts Grant programme purposes for more information.

Scoring your application

Our assessors use the following assessment scale 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, Mātauranga Māori and Kaupapa Pasifika. (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 peer assessors will assess your application. External peer assessors are selected based on their experience in an artform and represent the diversity within our applicants. In accordance with our legislation, Māori and Pasifika assessors will be used to assess applications to our Māori and Pacific funds or artforms. 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 10 weeks after the application closing date. We will notify on Friday 8 May 2020.

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. 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: