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Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora is a contestable fund that supports marae communities directly with projects that protect and revitalise mātauranga and taonga on marae.

The purpose of the fund is to support marae communities to retain, protect, or transmit their mātauranga and care for their taonga.

It is one of 18 initiatives that sit under the $20 million Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku Programme which is part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme being led by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

What will the fund support?

The fund will support marae communities to protect their mātauranga and taonga from the impact and ongoing threat of COVID-19, and support the cultural revitalisation of marae as centres of Māori identity and mātauranga.

Requests must align with the Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora funding outcomes:

  • Activities lead to greater retention, protection, revitalisation and transmission of mātauranga on the marae
  • Traditional artform and hanga whare mātauranga and practices are retained, revitalised, and strengthened on the marae
  • Sustainable care and protection of the marae’s taonga and mātauranga is enhanced and developed
  • Marae and the wider whānau are engaged and work together to progress marae cultural aspirations

Who can apply?

Funding is open to individual marae including urban marae, and entities (such as iwi, or Post Settlement Governance Entities) applying for funding on behalf of a collective of marae.

All applications, including applications made on behalf of collectives of marae, must be submitted with written evidence of support and approval of trustees of all relevant marae.

Marae and entities applying on behalf of marae must have legal entity status:

  • Māori Trust Board
  • Incorporated society
  • Trusts including incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957
  • Company with charitable purpose

Māori Reservation (also known as Marae Reservation) established under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and structured in accordance with the Māori Reservation Regulations 1994.

If a marae does not have a legal entity status the application can be submitted by another legal entity, such as a Post Settlement Governance Entity.

Who cannot apply?

Marae-a-kura and marae-a-wānanga, companies which do not have a charitable purpose and any other Government-funded institution are deemed ineligible. 

What are examples of activities that can be applied for? 

Examples of the types of activities that can be funded include:

  • Wānanga series on specific aspects of Mātauranga, marae taonga, or associated practices with Kaumātua / expert knowledge holders sharing kōrero with marae whānau.
  • Commissioning mātauranga Māori conservation plans to assess the condition of marae taonga such as wharenui, whare karakia or urupā associated to the marae.
  • Establishing or restoring harvest areas for cultural material, pā harakeke, toetoe, tōtara for future repair and maintenance of taonga on marae and retention on mātauranga practice.
  • Developing sustainable ways to store mātauranga on marae, such as establishing small whare taonga, archives, and preserving vulnerable records through fit-for-purpose storage cabinets, photography, scanning or digitisation.
  • Developing sustainable platforms to share this mātauranga with marae members, such as publications, interpretation panels, video documentaries.
  • Preservation of taonga held permanently on the marae such as waka tīwai, korowai, hīnaki, pounamu, photographs, memorial boards and Māori Land Court records.
  • Enabling marae communities to engage mātauranga Māori practitioners to design, develop and establish training programmes for whānau, hapū and iwi to learn and implement mātauranga Māori initiatives as part of the marae restoration programme.
  • Research into marae kōrero tuku iho and cultural mapping, combined with sharing activities such as wānanga or hikoi to taonga sites associated to marae (including urupā).

How do we apply?

Applications should be submitted online. To make requests for funding, log into the Community Matters online grants and client management system.  The link to the grants and client management system is below:

Log into the grants management system 

When can we apply?

The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund has closed for the 2022/23 financial year. 

What supporting documents do we need?

Your organisation requires that you have:

  • an Organisational Profile in the Grants Management System
  • An email confirming who the profile secretary is
  • Financial records 
  • Bank account verification (deposit slip)
  • a Trust Deed, Constitution or Marae Charter

The supporting information you will need with your request is:

  • a Letter or email of support from Marae Trustees for the project
  • a project plan
  • a project budget
  • Quotes if the request is over $100,000

If you need help with applying online, contact your local Department of Internal Affairs advisor.

When do applications close?

Funding requests can be submitted at any time when the Fund opens.  

Where can we get further information? 


Phone: 0800 824 824

Contact a Department of Internal Affairs office:

Privacy Note

The applications and supporting documentation will be uploaded to a Government database and so should have whānau support for any content (e.g. photos) included. Applications and supporting documents may be viewed by advisors and the Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Recommendation Panel.

All information, applications and supporting documents that are uploaded as part of a request are subject to Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) requests. If we receive an OIA request for your information, you will be contacted before any of it is passed to the requestor.


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