Awards and Funding

Contestable Funding

Each year the National Commission sponsors projects that align with its mission through its UNESCO Contestable Activity Fund (UCAF). Below are the latest recipients.

Organisation: The Kauri Project

Project: Kauri Ki Uta, Kauri Ki Tai: A cross disciplinary science, arts, mātauranga Māori Wānanga about kauri and environment

Summary: The Kauri Project will organise and run a multi-day wānanga to bring together a variety of people and disciplines working with kauri in order to share and expand knowledge, and inspire/initiate collaboration towards solutions to dealing with the threat of kauri dieback/Phytopthora agathidicida and wider forest ecosystem conservation. It will undertake to weave the strands of art, mātauranga Māori, scientific research and community action to the benefit and enhancement of all.

Organisation: New Zealand Festival

Project: A Waka Odyssey

Summary: Supporting the New Zealand Festival to bring the largest ever fleet of waka hourua (traditional twin-hulled sailing waka) to Wellington for a series of events marking a week-long celebration of our place in the Pacific and our remarkable 3000-year history of ocean voyaging.

Organisation: Parihaka Network: Ngā Manu Korihi

Project: Parihaka Peace Week

Summary: The Parihaka Network will run a pilot programme for Peace Week from 28 October to 5 November 2017. They will trial an educational resource package, including material on New Zealand history, peace, conflict resolution and volunteerism. The intent is to embed and normalise New Zealand’s history of conflict, war, peacemaking into the lives of New Zealanders with children celebrating heroes like Tohu and Te Whiti, learning about justice and celebrating a peace day on 5 November.

Organisation: The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington

Project: Exploring Education for Sustainable Development approaches

Summary: Research by Associate Professor Jenny Ritchie and Associate Professor Sandy Morrison on how kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and Enviroschools (kindergarten and school) are implementing principles and practices of education for sustainable development (ESD) utilising te ao Māori constructs. The project is part of a larger international project: ‘Reorienting Education and Training Systems to Improve the Lives of Indigenous and Marginalized Youth’, led by Professor Charles Hopkins of York University, Toronto, the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability.

Organisation: Victoria University of Wellington

Project: Second Pacific Climate Change Conference

Summary: The Second Pacific Climate Change Conference will bring together a broad range of voices on climate change, from the science to the impacts of the policy and public implications, including a variety of sectors and communities to exchange ideas on addressing climate change and its risks for food security, water availability, and habitability. It will be co-hosted with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with a focus on oceans.

Organisation: Youthtown Inc

Project: Design Change

Summary: A social innovation and design project that utilises Youthtown’s strength in developing young people’s capabilities. Teams of young people from six small communities in the Central North Island will be supported to engage with the community to identify issues and design and implement relevant solutions. They will present their prototype at an open community presentation and afterwards have regular guided meetings to refine the idea to take it to implementation or to market. 

Organisation: UNESCO Memory of the World Aotearoa/New Zealand Trust

Project: Memory of the World Programme

Summary: This funding will support the operations of the UNESCO Memory of the World programme, which facilitates the preservation of New Zealand’s most important documentary heritage.

Project: Beeby Fellowship 2016

Summary: This Fellowship will enable the successful applicant to spend several months developing educational resources based on their research. The end result will enhance classroom practice and students' learning.

Organisation: Dunedin City Council

Project: Creative City Counterpart Training: Transitions and Transformations

Summary: Dunedin has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature. This funding will go towards a one-day symposium and two-day workshop aimed at bringing together representatives of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to share expert knowledge and build capacity in the network. 

Organisation: Nature Through the Arts Collective Trust

Project: Imagine My City digital resource and toolkit

Summary: In 2015, The Nature Through the Arts Collective launched a 100-day creative challenge that used the arts to inspire children to communicate and share visions for a city that is rich in nature. The Collective will create a digital resource and toolkit to enable the ‘Imagine My City’ pilot project to be widely shared and applied by educators and communities.

Organisation: Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa

Project: Museum Development in the Pacific

Summary: The National Services Te Paerangi (NSTP) is a team within Te Papa that works in partnership with museums, galleries and iwi in New Zealand, offering a range of practical and strategic programmes aimed at strengthening the sector. This funding will enable a representative to provide training to staff in the National Museums of Samoa and the Cook Islands to increase their knowledge of best-practice collection care in the Pacific.

Organisation: Ngāti Kahungunu ki Poneke Community Services Inc

Project: Te Hā Tangata – The Breath of the People (an insider lens to homelessness)

Summary: This project, led by the Compassion Kitchen, involves developing a Human Library in Central Wellington – a place where people who have experienced homelessness are the ‘books’ on loan to readers. Ngāti Kahungunu ki Poneke Community Services will offer training, support and a small koha to the ‘human books’ who participate.

Organisation: The New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound/ Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua me Ngā Taonga Kōrero

Project: Digitising the National Archives of the Cook Islands 

Summary: Since 2013, Ngā Taonga has been working with the National Archives of the Cook Islands (NACI) on a project to transfer its audiovisual collection from the Cook Islands to safe physical and digital storage in New Zealand. This funding will go towards providing staff at NACI with further training and resource development in order to digitise the national collection.

Organisation: Wildlab Ltd

Project: Wild Eyes: Connecting Kiwi Kids to the outdoors, science and each other

Summary: Wild Eyes is a major digital media project that uses digital technology to get kiwi kids (aged 8-12) off screen and engaged outside with nature, science and sustainability. The funding will be used to engage the target audience in the project, by creating New Zealand themed emojis based on New Zealand nature.

Organisation: New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils Inc

Project: Ethnic Migrant and Refugee Youth Resource Kits App

Summary: This funding will support the design and development of an app based on MNZ’s Ethnic Youth Resource Kit. As well as being a resource kit, the app will celebrate, promote and publicise the contributions made by ethnic migrant and refugee youth to New Zealand society.

Organisation: Kakano Films Ltd

Project: Through Our Lens – Youth Filmmaking in Te Moana nui a Kiwa

Summary: Māori and Pacific youth will be supported to make films through a series of filmmaking workshops held throughout New Zealand and the Pacific. The best Rangatahi (youth) film as determined by their peers will screen at the first Māoriland Rangatahi Film Festival in March 2017 as part of the Māoriland Film Festival, New Zealand’s International Indigenous Film Festival.

Organisation: National Library of New Zealand

Project: Shaping sustainable national library services in the South Pacific

Summary: This project, managed by the National Library of New Zealand on behalf of CDNL-AO (an association of national libraries from around Asia and Oceania) will survey the current development needs of the national library services in the island states of the South Pacific, and make recommendations to CDNL-AO for collaborative actions to support the island states. It will take into account underlying needs in the library sector but also the continuing effects of recent natural disasters in the region. The project will survey the national library services of Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and other countries as appropriate.

Organisation: Victoria University Research Trust

Project: Imagining Decolonised Cities

Summary: An urban design competition will be developed, in which people from a cross-section of New Zealand society will submit their visions of a decolonised city. This will be followed by a two-week intensive bilingual (Te Reo Māori and English) design workshop in Porirua developed alongside Ngāti Toa. The findings will provide a resource to inform future urban design decisions.

Organisation: Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust

Project: Big Girls for International Women’s Day

Summary: This project will assist immigrant women in the Wellington region to work together to create giant puppets which they will take to the International Women’s Day parade in Palmerston North in 2017. This will encourage story sharing and the learning of new skills while breaking boundaries and stereotypes about women, and raising awareness about the diversity of cultures in Aotearoa.

Tēnā koutou, thank you for your interest in our current funding round.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO has allocated a limited amount of funding to support initiatives that align with its mission and strategic priorities.

The information below explains the purpose of the funding and the evaluation criteria for major grants. It outlines the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO’s strategic priorities and describes the two-stage application process.

Application packs and forms for minor grants of $5,000 (applications open all year round) and major grants of between $5,000 and $40,000 (Expressions of Interest due 6 July) are available below. Note: If you are unable to download these documents please contact us and we will post hard copies to you.

Expresssion of Interest Form

Application Form - Minor Grants

Application Pack - Minor Grants

Application Form - Major Grants

Application Pack - Major Grants


1.Write an Expression of Interest (EOI) and submit this to the NZ National Commission (by 6 July 2018)

2.Receive feedback on your EOI as to whether a formal application is invited

3.Submit formal application (by 3 August 2018)

4.Successful and unsuccessful applicants informed by end of September 2018

5.Completed funding contract must be returned in a timely manner

6.Contracting, payment and projects commence  (no later than end of October 2018)

7.Interim project report sent (before mid-February 2019)

8.Project activity delivered  (before 30 June 2019)

9.Recipients complete reporting, legal and contractual obligations (by 31 May 2019 or one month after completion of the project).