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Connecting Communities fund

Campaign type:

About Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group 

Applications for Round 7 are now closed.


Please note that our Government funding is coming to n end and the final Connecting Communities funding round, Round 8, is scheduled for the following date:


  • Opens Monday 8 April, closes 11:59pm on Thursday 18 April 2024.

Before submitting your application please note:

  • To be fair to all applicants, only one application can be made per organisation. 
  • Neither gifts nor alcohol can be funded.
  • Applications must be not-for-profit. In particular, facilitator fees cannot be funded if you are the applicant (it would be considered self-funding). 
  • Make and keep a copy of your application. If successful, you will need it for future reference. 
About the 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.
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

There are two more application rounds. You can apply for more than one round, as each round opens. 

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 dates for the funding rounds are: 

  • Round 7 opens: Monday 6 November 2023.  Closes: Midnight Thursday 16 November 2023
  • Round 8 (final round) opens: Monday 8 April. Closes: Midnight Thursday 18 April 2024.
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 (normally about 2 weeks after the date applications close)
Step 4: We’ll pay you or the supplier of the service. 

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.
  4. Any applicable supplier quotes 
  5. Amount applied for. 
What happens if, after receiving the fund, 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, the form is available below for you to download and fill out.