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Te Puna Tahua, Lottery Grants Board is evolving the lottery grants and advisory system to make it easier and fairer for communities, hāpu 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.

The programme will undertake a review of the whole system to create a new community funding and advisory support system that is more responsive, flexible, inclusive, strategic and honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is the first time an end-to-end review has been done since Lotto launched in New Zealand over 35 years ago.

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

The Department will provide recommendations to the Board in late 2022 and any changes to Lottery funding will be phased in from 2023.

Programme overview

Link to Evolving the lottery grants system (.pdf)

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, inefficiencies in the system and inequitable funding outcomes.

COVID-19 has also highlighted the need for communities 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

  • $5.2 billion returned to communities since Lotto launched in 1987.
  • $313 million funded a range of community activities and projects in the 2019/2020 financial year.
  • 58% of lottery grants go to the community and voluntary sector.
  • 42% is distributed to four sports, arts and cultural statutory bodies.

The current system:

  • has changed little in over 35 years since Lotto was launched
  • lacks strategic direction, and
  • is overly complex.

Key outcomes of Kia Tipu, He Tipua

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

Guiding innovation

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

  • High trust: Community aspirations are supported through flexible funding approaches.
  • Community-centred: Funding is purposeful and prioritised to help achieve the greatest impact.
  • Equitable outcomes: Communities are trusted to drive outcomes, through building strong relationships.
  • 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.

Further information

If you have any questions or comments about this programme of work, please email community.matters@dia.govt.nz.

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