Rangi-te-ao-re-re Raki with kiwi
Image: Sabine Bernert | ©


This fund supports whānau, hapū and iwi to revive, retain and promote traditional Māori knowledge and its practical use in the management of indigenous biodiversity.


The Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund recognises that conservation is more than just looking after, preserving and restoring the land. The fund kaupapa fully affirms spirituality and cultural history are inseparable in Māori conservation and indigenous biodiversity initiatives.

About the fund

The Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund is a contestable fund administered by the Amorangi (the governance group) of Ngā Whenua Rāhui. The fund supports whānau, hapū and iwi projects designed to reclaim, revive, preserve and promote the use of traditional Māori knowledge and practice in indigenous biodiversity management.

The fund's major aims are:

  • to protect, preserve and promote traditional knowledge, history, stories and practices of tangata whenua in the management of indigenous biodiversity and natural resources
  • to restore kaitiaki responsibilities to protect the mauri of the whenua and that unites the spiritual, cultural and physical caretaking of our natural resources
  • to increase tangata whenua capacity to retain and promote mātauranga Māori and its use in indigenous biodiversity management
  • to uphold the role of tangata whenua participation in the management of indigenous biodiversity, consistent with customary knowledge and practice.

When to apply

There are no closing dates for applications. The Amorangi meet up to four times a year to consider applications. You may need to allow for up to four months before you hear the outcome of your application.

Who can apply

Individuals or organisations representative of a whānau, hapū or iwi with legal status (eg charitable trust, incorporated society, ahu whenua trust, Māori reservation trust) are eligible to apply for Mātauranga Kura Taiao funding.  

Fund criteria

Applications may cover te taiao and taonga species associated with Tāne-Mahuta and the freshwater realm of Tangaroa. This includes (but is not limited to) whenua, repo, roto, awa, ngahere, manu, ngārara and ika; and involves rongoā, mahinga kai, rāhui, wāhi tapu and other elements of Māori connection to the natural world.

Project purpose, objectives and outcomes must align with the fund’s kaupapa, and criteria and must relate to indigenous biodiversity management.

Applications for funding will be considered against the following criteria:

  • Applications focus primarily on cultural resilience, maintenance and practice.
  • Applications that relate to the revival, use and retention of traditional Māori knowledge and its practical use in the management of indigenous biodiversity.
  • Projects incorporate traditional knowledge and practice in indigenous biodiversity management.
  • Projects involve tohunga, kaumātua or pukenga in the transmission of knowledge and tikanga.
  • Projects include a practical hands-on approach to the application of mātauranga Māori.
  • Applications that demonstrate how it will pass on and retain the traditional Māori knowledge and practices for the benefit of future generations.
  • Projects that develop initiatives for tangata whenua to become involved in shared management of cultural and natural values.
  • The risk to loss of mātauranga Māori or taonga species.
  • Projects that include the recording and transmitting of oral tradition and practice for current and future generations.
  • Projects that are part of a wider programme or initiative of indigenous biodiversity or natural resource protection.

You'll find further information about the criteria in the information sheet below. 

How to apply

Download the application form and supporting files:

Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund – application form (Word, 137K)

Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund – information sheet (PDF, 99K) or Word, 39K

Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund – guide for applicants (PDF, 147K) or Word, 30K

Read through the information sheet to check whether your project adequately meets the kaupapa of the fund. Make sure your application addresses the fund’s criteria and that you have prepared all supporting information before submitting your application. All required supporting documentation must be submitted with your application.

Applications may be declined if we consider the project does not adequately meet the eligibility criteria.

Supporting documentation

You also need to include the following documentation with your application:

  • If this is the first time you have applied to the Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund, a copy of your organisation’s rules (eg trust deed, marae charter or constitution)
  • At least two letters of support – these might come from your marae trust, a governing body, hapū, an  organisation you are affiliated to, community organisation or the regional council (at least one letter must be from a kaumātua, tohunga or pukenga from your local marae)
  • Pre-printed bank deposit slip (must be in the name of the applicant organisation)
  • Coloured photos showing the project area(s) being considered in your application
  • If this is your first time applying to the Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund, a copy of the organisation’s rules (eg trust deed, marae charter or constitution) or a certificate of incorporation, charitable trust certificate or other evidence of your organisation’s legal status.

Send your completed application by one of the following methods:


Krystal Phillips
Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund
Ngā Whenua Rāhui
PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143


Note: Your application must be signed and the original sent via post.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the fund or require assistance to complete the application form, contact the MKT Kaitakawaenga: 

Phone: +44 27 390 5183
Email: mktfund@doc.govt.nz

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