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Community funding

The Buller District Council administers a range of funding throughout the year to assist and enrich our community. Some funds are provided by Council, others are provided by external organisations and administered by Buller District Council.

Council has a Grants Committee, which considers applications. In some circumstances, additional community members are co-opted on to a committee to review applications e.g. the Creative Communities Sub-Committee.

Some of the grants available to Buller organisations and projects are:

NZ Creative Communities Scheme Funding (Funding for the Arts)

The purpose of this scheme is to support and encourage the local community to create and present a range of opportunities to access and participate in arts activities.

Each year Council distributes $21,090 through three founding rounds ( August, November and March). 

  • The first round closed Monday 24 July 2023
  • The second round closed Tuesday 24 October 2023 4:30pm.
  • The third round closes Monday 19 February 2024 4:30pm.

Download the application form here.

Late applications won't be accepted. 

Creative NZ is a central government organisation which is the national agency for the development of the arts in New Zealand. Their purpose is to invest resources in arts in Aotearoa for the long-term benefit of our wonderful country.

Each year Buller District Council receives a grant from Creative NZ under the Creative Communities Scheme. The purpose of this scheme is to support and encourage all local communities to create and present a range of opportunities, for those interested, to be able to access and participate in arts activities within our specific geographical area.

The Buller District Council has established an Assessment Committee for this funding pool. This Committee is made up of two Councillors, one person from the local Iwi, one person from each of the Community Arts Councils, of which we have three (Karamea, Buller that covers the Westport area, and Inangahua), plus two community members.

The project you are applying for must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Participation – Create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate, for example:
  • Performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies or poets
  • Workshops on print making, writing or dancing
  • Exhibitions by local craft groups promoting weaving, pottery or carving
  • Festivals featuring local artists
  • Creation of a community film or a public artwork by a community
  • Seminars for local artist development
  • Diversity – Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities, for example:
  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions in Maori or Pasifika heritage or contemporary art forms
  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by local migrant communities
  • Arts projects bringing together groups from a range of different communities
  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by groups with experience of disability or mental illness
  • Young people- Enable young people (under 18) to engage with, and participate in the arts, for example:
  • A group of young people working with an artist to create a mural or street art
  • A group of young people creating a film about an issue that is important to them
  • Printing a collection of writing by young people
  • An exhibition of visual art work by young people

The project must also:

  • Take place within the Buller District
  • Be completed within 12 months of funding being approved
  • Not have started or finished before Creative Communities Scheme funding is approved
  • Not have already been funded by Creative New Zealand’s other arts funding programmes

  • Materials for arts activities or programmes
  • Venue or equipment hire
  • Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
  • Promotion and publicity of arts activities

    Types of projects that cannot be funded:
  • Fundraising activities
  • Developing galleries, marae, theatres or other venue or facilities
  • Local council projects
  • Projects which are mainly focused around other areas e.g. health, education or the environment and that only have a very small arts component
  • Arts projects in schools or other education institutions that are the core business of that institution or that are normally funded through curriculum or operating budgets

CCS Festivals Fund

This is a one-off fund that aims to help alleviate the impact COVID-19 has had on the arts sector, and is intended: 

  • To help artists and their communities adapt and thrive as we move beyond the effects of COVID-19. 
  • To further improve access, equity, and arts participation. 

Council will distribute $6,826.48 through two funding rounds, one in October and one in January.

The next funding round closes Monday 19 February 2023 4:30pm.

Download the application form here.

Late applications won't be accepted. 

Creative NZ is a central government organisation which is the national agency for the development of the arts in New Zealand. Their purpose is to invest resources in arts in Aotearoa for the long-term benefit of our wonderful country.

Buller District Council has received $6,826.48 to support established festivals which celebrate the life experiences, stories, cultures, and regional identities of New Zealanders. 

The Buller District Council has established an Assessment Committee for this funding pool. This Committee is made up of two Councillors, one person from the local Iwi, one person from each of the Community Arts Councils, of which we have three (Karamea, Buller that covers the Westport area, and Inangahua), plus two community members.

The festival you are applying for must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Access and participation – Create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate,
  • Diversity – Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities,
  • Young people- Enable young people (under 18) to engage with, and participate in the arts,

The festival must also:

  • Must be an established festival (means it occurred at least once in the previous five years, this can include digital presentations)
  • Take place within the Buller District
  • Be completed within 12 months of funding being approved
  • Not have started or finished before Creative Communities Scheme funding is approved

A festival, for the purpose of the fund, is defined as involving an integrated programme of events and activities featuring one or more artforms, from any cultural tradition, that takes place within a defined area or region over a designated period of time.

Types of costs that can be funded:

  • Materials for arts activities or programmes
  • Venue or equipment hire
  • Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
  • Promotion and publicity of arts activities

Types of festivals that cannot be funded:

  • New festivals
  • Festivals which are mainly focused around other areas e.g. health, education or the environment and that only have a very small arts component.
  • Festivals in schools or other education institutions that are the core business of that institution or that are normally funded through curriculum or operating budgets.

Types of costs that cannot be funded include:

  • Purchase of capital assets like property or vehicles, audio-visual and/or technical equipment (i.e., a PA system, laptops, camera equipment etc.). Instead, funding can be used to hire production gear and venue space.

Community Grants

The Community Grants Fund was set up to support the work of community groups and volunteer organisations who are providing community and social projects and services within the Buller District.

Each year Council distributes $75,000 through two funding rounds ( November and March).  

  • The first round closed on Monday 2 October 2023
  • The second round closes Monday 29 January 2024 4:30pm.

Late applications won't be accepted. 

The Community Grants Fund was set up to support the work of community groups and volunteer organisations who are providing community and social projects and services within the Buller District.

This fund is provided by Council and is budgeted for each year within its Annual Plan. The funding pool is set annually, and the pool is contestable. Applications are called for twice a year, with funding decisions made in March and November. Applications for each round generally close in January and October each year. Assistance is not available for individuals or commercial activities.

Applicants can only be granted money from this fund once each financial year (1 July – 30 June).

Generally, more funding requests are received than funds available, so not all applications can be assisted.

All applications are assessed against the community outcomes and are presented to the Community, Environment and Services Committee.

Your application needs to support a minimum of one community outcome, but it is not necessary that your application supports all of them.

Most projects will support not all community outcomes due to the groups or project’s focus. It adds to the clarity of your application, if you only indicate for community outcomes applicable to your project, how your project supports this and how you evaluate the impact.

There is no advantage or disadvantage for your project depending on how many community outcomes your project supports.

Rural Travel Fund (Sport NZ)

The Sport New Zealand Rural Travel Fund is a partnership between Sport New Zealand and Council that assists with the development of junior sport in rural communities by providing funding to subsidise travel.

Each year Council distributes $9,500 through one founding round in March. Council received $3,325 extra funding for the financial year 2023/24. This enables Council to distribute $12,150 in March 2024.

The funding round closes Monday 29 January 2024 4:30pm.

Late applications won't be accepted. 

The Sport New Zealand Rural Travel Fund is a partnership between Sport New Zealand and Territorial Authorities (Buller District Council) that assists with the development of junior sport in rural communities by providing funding to subsidise travel.

The Rural Travel Fund is open to rural sports clubs and school club teams with members aged between 5 and 19 years, that require financial assistance for transport expenses to participate in regular local sporting competitions. A rural school club team will be eligible for funding if it is participating in a regular sports competition out of school time, and excludes inter-school/intra-school competitions run during school time.

Funding for the Buller District is allocated on an annual basis, in conjunction with the Council’s Community Grants funding round held in March 2022.

All applications are presented to and evaluated by the Community, Environment and Services Committee.

Your application needs to meet the funding criteria provided by Sport NZ which are summarised below. 

Eligible teams

Applications for funding from the Rural Travel Fund can be made by rural sport club teams and rural school club teams within the Buller District, with members aged between 5 and 18 years, who require financial assistance with transport costs so that they can participate in local sporting competitions and events.

Eligible travel

The following criteria will be applied when considering applications for funding made by eligible teams.

  • A rural school club team will be eligible for funding if it is participating in a regular local sports competition out of school time, which excludes interschool and intra-school competitions run during school time.
  • A rural sports club team will be eligible for funding if it is participating in an organised, regular sports competition through club membership outside of school time.

Accountability for funding

You must only use the funding for travel costs that arise from the team participating in a local competition.

You must return an accountability form to Council that shows how the funding was spent, including by providing proof of purchases made and any receipts.

Facility Hire Fund

The Grants Committee allocates a small funding pool to assist in subsidising hire costs of Council facilities for non-profit community events.

Applications need to be submitted a minimum of one full week before your event.

The Grants Committee allocates a small funding pool to assist in subsidising hire costs of Council facilities for non-profit community events.

This is part of Council’s own Community Grants Fund, budgeted for each year within its Annual Plan. Applications are taken throughout the year, dependent on funds remaining in the grant pool. The fund is designed to assist with one-off events, and is not available for commercial activities.

  • If an organisation is charging a door/cover charge the maximum amount that can be allocated in one application is $200.
  • If an organisation is not charging a door/cover charge the maximum amount that can be allocated in one application is $400.
  • An organisation/individual is only eligible to receive this facility hire funding once per financial year.
  • Applications need to be submitted a minimum of one full week before your event.

Community-Led Revitalisation Fund

The Community-Led Revitalisation Fund was set up to support the work of community groups and volunteer organisations who support projects that will transform our public spaces, bring new life to our communities, grow community ownership or strengthen the relationship between Council and the community.

Each year Council distributes $50,000 excl. GST through one founding round in November.

The funding round closed on Monday 2 October 2023

Late applications won't be accepted. 

The Community-Led Revitalisation Fund was set up to support the work of community groups and volunteer organisations who support projects that will:

  • Transform our public spaces.
  • Bring new life to our communities and enhance community wellbeing.
  • Grow community ownership of our places through the contribution of volunteers.
  • Strengthen the relationship between Council and the community.

This fund is provided by Council and is budgeted for each year within its Annual Plan. The funding pool is set annually, and the pool is contestable. Applications are called for once a year, with funding decisions made in November. Applications generally close in October each year. Assistance is not available for individuals or commercial activities.

Applications are invited from community groups which are in the Buller District.

Strong preference will be given to projects that will be done on Council owned or land which Council leases, and that will also enhance the work that will be done through Council managed revitalisation projects.

Successful applicants are required to provide written progress updates every three-months to Council.

Progress reports are due 1 February, 1 May, 1 August, and 1 November.

On completion applicants are required to complete a project completion report including photos, videos, and any media coverage of the project within two-months after completing the project.