Ngāi Tahu culture is unique and enduring. It encompasses our values and traditions, our language and whakapapa.

These are the elements that tell us where we have come from, how we lived, who we were and who we are today.

In 2006 Te Rūnanga established the Ngāi Tahu Fund to ensure whānau have the ability to access resources to strengthen Ngāi Tahu cultural excellence through sustainability, innovation and tenacity.

Twice a year tribal members and groups of members can apply for funding for projects designed to meet specific cultural objectives, including building cultural knowledge,
encouraging cultural practices and leadership. The growth of tribal cultural capacity is essential to protect and preserve our culture for the future.

The key priority areas include whakapapa, te reo Māori and tikanga, the arts, whānau and whenua (land) development and traditional food gathering practices.

To date the Ngāi Tahu Fund has completed 22 funding rounds, contributing just under $9,000,000 to Ngāi Tahu individuals, whānau, hapū, rūnanga in the South Island and Taurahere Groups in the North.

The Ngāi Tahu Funds Committee, which comprises Ngāi Tahu leaders and funding experts, has received over 1250 applications, of which, 890 have been approved to the value of over $8,900,00.

This includes people wanting to investigate their whānau whakapapa and history, plus groups hosting workshops on traditional arts like weaving and carving, along with environmental revitalisation projects.

The next funding round closes on Friday 31 March 2017 at 5pm. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Exceptional circumstances must exist for the Ngāi Tahu Fund to accept an out-of-round application. For the Ngāi Tahu Funds Committee to consider an out-of-round application, all required documents must be included (see application checklist) with the application; and received no less than a calendar month before the project commences. Also, those submitting an out-of-round application must contact Funds staff prior to submission.

Call 0800 KAI TAHU (0800 524 8248) today and find out how to apply.

Download an application form »

For any other queries about the Fund, or if you would like application forms posted to you please contact: Morgan Lee on 0800 524 8248 or email:

Ngāi Tahu Fund Stories

Whenua Hou

Ngāi Tahu carver James York (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Rapuwai) is carving pou to be erected on Whenua Hou to honour the unique connection of Ngāi Tahu with the island. Nā Kahu Te Whaiti. Whenua Hou, an island north-west of Rakiura, was an important stopping point for muttonbirders travelling to the Tītī islands. In…

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