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Connecting Communities fund

Campaign type:

About Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group 

Applications for Round 8 of our Connecting Communities funding are now closed.  Te Hau Toka will notify applicants just before or in the week commencing 20 May.


Te Hau Toka's Government funding ends on 30 June 2024 so this was the final Connecting Communities funding round.

Here are some other funding sources to consider for your projects: 

  • Queenstown Lakes District Council offers a range of support including an Events Fund, Community Fund, and Waste Minimisation Community Fund (all open now), a sports subsidy travel fund and an Arts, Culture and Heritage fund as well as fundraising tips, tools and links to other funding sources.

  • Queenstown Lakes charitable organisations in the environmental sector can apply for $5-$10k to support their work through the newly launched Love Wānaka and Love Queenstown regenerative tourism community funding initiative.  Read more.

  • Central Lakes Trust provides grants for Life-long Learning, Community Wellbeing, Environment & Heritage, Community Recreation, and Arts & Culture across the Central Lakes region.

  • Central Otago District Council offers a range of annual grants for groups within its area.

  • Southland District Council offers $500-$5k community partnership grants for Fiordland.

  • Community Trust South offers a range of grants for non-profits in Southland, Queenstown, Glenorchy and Arrowtown.

  • Otago Community Trust provides grants to not-for-profit groups/projects across Otago. It focuses on empowered communities, improved health and wellbeing, increased access to opportunities and thriving children and young people.
  • Aotearoa Gaming Trust provides grants across community, health, arts, education and sports.
  • Lottery Community grants are available for not-profits with a community or social service focus for operating costs or projects which help improve the quality of people’s lives in their communities.

About the Connecting Communities fund

Got a great idea for a community activity that promotes the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing?  

We’re keen to support community-led activities and events across Queenstown, Wānaka, Cromwell and Te Anau/Fiordland that improve mental wellbeing and encourage people to come together and Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Give. It’s all part of enabling our communities to help each other to be more resilient and stay well. 

Groups can apply for funding of up to $1,000 (GST inclusive).
Ideas could include games equipment for your community, an in-person or online event/workshop which connects people/supports mindfulness/encourages them to be active/enjoy nature/learn a new skill, or funding for a specific part of an event that supports wellbeing… we’d love to hear them! 

Mental wellbeing is one component of broader wellbeing. Positive mental wellbeing is most likely when people feel safe, connected, valued, worthy and accepted and have a sense of belonging, identity and hope for the future. Mental wellbeing means being able to adapt and cope with life and life’s challenges and feeling that your life has meaning, as well as experiencing feelings of contentment or general happiness (as per Kia Manawanui Aotearoa Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing plan).

The Connecting Communities fund is part of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan. The plan aims to deliver mental wellbeing support, promote and protect the social and mental wellbeing of people living in Queenstown, Wānaka, Cromwell and Te Anau/Fiordland, and assist with addressing the ongoing negative effects of COVID-19.

Who can apply
  1. Community clubs or groups
  2. Not-for-profit organisations or social enterprises
  3. Iwi organisations or Māori community groups
  4. Multicultural councils or ethnic community organisations
  5. Faith-based, religious and church groups
  6. An informal group (i.e. not a Trust, an Incorporated Society, Company or any other type of entity formed under New Zealand legislation.  An informal group may be involved with managing a one-off event or a series of community activities).

Note: One application per group please. Multiple applications from the same group will not be accepted.

Funding criteria

We are looking to fund community activities or events that can support connection, wellbeing and resilience. 
Broadly, we are looking for activities and events that:

  1. Engage positively with the local community
  2.  Support mental wellbeing
  3. Aligns with one or more of the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Te Whare Tapa Wha  
  4. Is delivered in Queenstown, Wānaka, Cromwell, or Te Anau/Fiordland
  5. Can be adapted to comply with any COVID restrictions.

Applications will not be considered for:

  1. Retrospective activities or events (things you have done in the past or are in progress now)
  2. Funding for mental health clinical services (i.e. counselling) 
  3. Activities that intend to generate profit
  4. Debt servicing or repayment 
  5. Legal expenses
  6. The promotion of commercial, political or religious objectives
  7. The purchase of alcohol or gifts/prizes.
How we will assess applications

Applications will be assessed by the Te Hau Toka group and will be approved based on the merits of the event or activity and according to the following:

  1. It is community-based
  2. It builds on the community’s strengths 
  3. It is safe to use/do
  4. It has the flexibility to be managed or provided differently should there be a change to COVID levels
  5. It meets all criteria contained in the application form 
  6. It meets our Terms and Conditions.
When you can apply

Round 8 (final round):
Opens: 9am, Monday 8 April 2024.
Closes: 10pm, Thursday 18 April 2024. No late applications will be accepted.

As per the Terms and Conditions of the fund, if you have applied in previous rounds and been successful, you must have completed and sent your accountability report to Te Hau Toka in order for your Round 8 application to be considered. 

Please note, the fund is inclusive of GST (i.e. up to $1,000 net payment). If you are a registered GST provider, you will need to make the appropriate payments. 


The application process

Step 1: Complete the form
Step 2: After the closing date we will consider your application with all other applications received 
Step 3: We’ll let you know if your application has been approved (about 4 weeks after the date applications close)
Step 4: We’ll pay the funds into your designated bank account. 

How to apply

Please have the following information ready to help you fill out the online application:

  1. How you will spend the fund
  2. If you are a Charitable Trust OR NZBN registration number
  3. Proof of your bank account - a copy (scan/screenshot/photo) of your organisation's bank statement.  It must clearly show your bank's logo and letterhead, and the name and bank account number of your organisation. If this is not supplied correctly, the application will be declined.
  4. Any applicable supplier quotes 
  5. Amount applied for. 
What happens if, after receiving Connecting Communities funding, you are unable to, or choose not to, provide the activity or event described in your application

If it’s not possible to deliver the event/activity for reasons outside of your control and you’ve already received payment from us, then we will meet with you to discuss next steps. This may involve the return of part or all of the funding provided.

If you need help or have a question


If you have any issues with the online form, please contact us on the email address above in the first instance. The form is available below for you to download and fill out.