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Kia Tipu, He Tipua - Evolving the lottery grants system

Te Puna Tahua, Lottery Grants Board is evolving the lottery grants and advisory support system to make it easier and fairer for communities, hapū and iwi to access funding. 

The Board has tasked Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs with this programme of work known as Kia Tipu, He Tipua – Evolving the Lottery Grants System.

A review of the whole Lottery Grants System will be undertaken to evolve it to one that is more responsive, flexible, inclusive, strategic and recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is the first time an end-to-end review has been done since Lotto and the NZ Lottery Grants Board were established in 1987.

Engaging widely with communities, hapū, iwi, funders and other organisations will be crucial to designing an improved future system with people and communities at its heart. 

An evolved lottery grants funding system will start to be phased in from 2023.

Latest news

For news about the evolving Lottery Grants System, follow the links below:

Engagement summary of experiences and future opportunities for the Lottery Grants System - Published 1 May 2023

Philanthropy News Issue #87 November 2022: Easier and fairer access to lottery funding

Programme overview

Evolving the Lottery Grants System

Kia Tipu, He Tipua, Evolving the Lottery Grants Board (PDF 267KB)

The Lottery Grants System has changed very little in the 35 years since the game Lotto was launched in New Zealand, although we know communities and their needs have changed significantly during this time. This has resulted in barriers for communities, hapū and iwi, inefficiencies in the system and inequitable funding outcomes.

COVID-19 has also highlighted the need for communities hapū and iwi to access more flexible and responsive funds to achieve their aspirations.

With Kia Tipu, He Tipua we want to unlock the potential of the Lottery Grants System and engage more consciously in what it is that the lottery grants system is becoming – a system that is:

  • strategy led and learns
  • high trust and leverages relationships
  • devolved decision making and flexible funding
  • funding for equity
  • collaborative to achieve the greatest impact.

The current Lottery Grants System

Lottery grants by the numbers

  • $5.5 billion returned to communities since Lotto launched in 1987.
  • $376 million funded a range of community activities and projects in the 2021/2022 financial year.

The current system:

  • has changed little in the 35 years since Lotto was launched
  • is overly complex.

Key objectives of Kia Tipu, He Tipua

  • Ensure the funding is accessible and responsive to communities’ needs and priorities.
  • Support the aspirations of Māori and uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Ensure funding is distributed more equitably.
  • Make the funding system more coherent and focused.
  • Develop a funding system that allows for innovation and collaboration.
  • Maximise community benefit through the distribution of lottery funding.

Guiding innovation

This programme is evolving the way lottery grants are distributed using the following community funding best practice principles:

  • High trust: Communities are trusted to drive outcomes through building strong relationships.
  • Community centred: Community aspirations are supported through flexible funding approaches.
  • Equitable outcomes: Funding is purposeful and prioritised to help achieve the greatest impact.
  • Future focused: Adaptive approaches that work to support intergenerational change for communities.

Timeline of the programme

2020: Opportunity to evolve the system was identified.

2021: Lottery Grants Board tasks Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs with this programme of work.

2022: Working with communities hapū, iwi, funders, statutory bodies and other organisations to design the future state.

2023: An evolved lottery grants funding system will start to be phased in.

2024: More significant change for communities, hapū and iwi.

Further information

If you have any questions or comments about this programme of work, please email