Whenua Māori Fund

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding from the Whenua Māori Fund applications must come from trustees of Māori freehold land OR owners of a Māori freehold land block if there are seven owners or less.

Applications must contain a proposal that:

  • demonstrates land development and/or people development potential;
  • has a budget that demonstrate a realistic and justified basis for project completion with adequate provisioning for contingency and represents value for money;
  • could leverage existing networks, capability and/or other sources of funding;
  • is ready to go;
  • identifies higher potential productivity gains from investment;
  • promotes a co-operative development approach across Māori land units;
  • supports existing Iwi, and sector-led or government programmes: including regional growth strategies; andis focused on improving the ability of trustees / owners of Māori land to make active decisions on the development of their land, including:

–    land owner visioning and innovation;

–    confirming land use capability / viability and development options;

–    land development / management plans; and

–    addressing impediments to land development.

Restrictions on Funding

The Whenua Māori Fund will not fund proposals which:

  • predominately relate to general-title land;
  • relate to blocks for which the Māori Trustee is the responsible trustee;
  • are for retrospective projects or to pay existing debts;
  • involve Māori land without a formal governance structure (other than Māori land blocks with seven owners or less);
  • are for organisational administrative support;
  • relate to capital investment, including buildings, vehicles, fencing, and seedlings;
  • are for services and support available via existing government programmes and services; and
  • are for legal advice/services, event management costs, international travel and accommodation; or the formation of business ventures.


Please provide the following Information with your application.

Vesting Order For Māori Land Trusts and Incorporations. Must include the Land Administrator information from Māori Land Online.
Legal Status Certification of Incorporation, or Certification of Ahuwhenua Trusts, Incorporated societies or Charitable Trust etc, if the application relates to Māori land with more than seven owners.
Registered Address Proof of your registered address is to be provided. This is the address that has been registered with your Legal status.
Financial Statements Current Financial statements/audited accounts to confirm your organisation is solvent if you are seeking funding for a portion of the costs of a project.


Where Te Puni Kōkiri collects personal information from individuals, only sufficient information necessary to meet the requirements of this Application will be collected. Those persons have the right to request access to their information at Te Puni Kōkiri, PO Box 3943, Wellington and, if appropriate, request that their information be corrected.

Application Process

Step 1:    Complete your project proposal.

Te Puni Kōkiri staff are available to provide project guidance and advice where required.

Step 2:    Complete the Application Form and email it to whenuamaorifund@tpk.govt.nz or send it to Te Puni Kōkiri, PO Box 3943, Wellington

Please ensure that all relevant information is attached to your application otherwise it will be classified as incomplete and may not be processed.

Step 3:    If your application meets the Whenua Māori Fund’s eligibility requirements it will go before a Review Panel who will make recommendations to the Chief Executive, Te Puni Kōkiri.

You may be contacted to confirm the details of your application.

Step 4:    Applicants will be advised of the Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive’s decision.

Step 5:    If successful Te Puni Kōkiri will work with you to confirm the contract details.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or the Whenua Māori Fund Application Form please call Te Puni Kōkiri on 0800 200 410 or email us at whenuamaorifund@tpk.govt.nz.