Creative Communities Fund

Grants & Funding - Creative Communities Scheme

Horowhenua District Council administers the Creative Communities NZ Scheme (CCS) on behalf of Creative New Zealand.

Each financial year the amount allocated to the Horowhenua District is dispersed to individuals and organisations for projects that increase participation in, or access to, the Arts.

Nominations open for Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee

Passionate about art? We're on the hunt for at least five new committee members who are artists and/or have experience in the arts. To ensure we have a diverse range of experience and representation on the committee, we have positions specifically for Pasifika people, rangatahi (people between the ages of 16-24) and tangata whenua.

The Creative Communities Scheme helps to fund local arts projects. Each year Creative New Zealand provides funding to city and district councils to distribute in their area. Local artists and art groups apply for funding to Horowhenua District Council and the Creative Communities Committee members meet and discuss the applications, and allocate the funds to those who meet the fund’s criteria.

The Creative Communities fund is open for two rounds each financial year (August and February). The role and functions of the Committee include:

  • assessing applications and allocating funding, in line with any specific local priorities that have been set by Horowhenua District Council
  • having knowledge of the arts activity in their local area discussing and making recommendations for promoting the scheme locally
  • receiving reports on funded projects and discussing completed projects
  • attending performances, exhibitions and other events funded by the Creative Communities Scheme
  • attending meetings organised by Creative New Zealand
  • electing new community representatives to the Committee after a public nomination process.

Funding rounds

This fund will be open for two funding rounds in the 2023-2024 financial year

  • Round 1 opens 1 August 2023 and closes 10 September 2023 at 11.59pm,
    Applicants will be notified of decisions late October 2023
  • Round 2 opens 1 February 2024 and closes on 10 March 2024 at 11.59pm,
    Applicants will be notified of decisions late April 2024 and Events must start after 1 May 2024


Time commitment and term of membership

An induction and training will be provided.

  • Time commitment: Three meetings per year (total of six hours, plus reading).
  • Term of membership: Up to three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms.

How to apply

To apply for a position on the Committee, you'll need electronic copies of:

  • your cover letter explaining why you would be great for the role
  • your CV with relevant arts experience
  • any letters of support

Once you have this supporting information ready, you can fill in our online application form.

Apply online

Applications close at 5pm on Thursday 23 November 2023.

If you need support with your application or require more information, please contact Emma Gowan on

For more information about the Creative Communities NZ Scheme visit the Creative NZ website

Who can apply?

Individuals or groups can apply for CCS funding. (Individuals must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents).

If you have already received funding from CCS for a project, you must complete a report on that project before making another application, unless the project is still in progress.

Is my project eligible to apply?

To be eligible for funding through CCS your arts project must support at least one of the following:

Access and Participation

Create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in.

Examples of projects for Access and Participation include:

  • Performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies or poets
  • Workshops on printmaking, writing, dancing or other creative forms
  • Exhibitions by local craft groups promoting weaving, pottery and carving
  • Festivals featuring local artist
  • Creation of a community film or a public artwork by a community
  • Development of new tukutuku, whakairo or kowhaiwhai for a local marae
  • Artist residencies involving local artists or communities
  • Seminars for local artist development.


Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities

Examples of projects for Diversity include:

  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions in Maori or Pasifika heritage 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 years)to engage with, and participate in the arts, eg:

Examples of projects for Young people include:

  • 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
  • Music workshops for young people
  • An exhibition of visual art work by young people

What can we apply for?

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

What costs are ineligible?

  • ongoing administration and service costs (such as salaries) that aren’t related to a specific project
  • travel for individuals or groups to attend events, presentations or shows outside the local area
  • buying capital items or equipment, such as cameras, computers, instruments, costumes, lights or uniforms
  • the costs of running fundraising activities
  • entry fees for competitions, contests and exams
  • prize money, awards and judges’ fees for competitions
  • payment of royalties
  • the paying off of accumulated debt or debt servicing
  • buying existing artworks for collections held by, for example, councils, museums, galleries, community groups or individuals.

Please note: Where any of the above costs are included in a CCS application, the applicant will need to be able to cover these costs from project income other than CCS funding, eg ticket sales or fundraising.

Application Guide

For more information, please read the Application Guide. 

Creative Communities Scheme - Application Guide(PDF, 368KB)

Creative Communities Logo Use

Use of the Creative Communities Scheme logo in marketing material is required by successful applicants. This logo is available for downloading below. For instructions on how to use the logo, please visit the Creative New Zealand website.

Applicant Instructions

  1. Applicants must complete all questions on their application, supplying copies of all supporting documentation. Where there is missing information or documentation the applicant should explain why. Incomplete applications may result in a request for financial assistance being declined. While the grant remains open for applications, Council Officers may attempt to give applicants an opportunity to rectify missing elements but no guarantee is given in this regard and no request for extra information infers eligibility for a grant. 
  2. Photographs of the particular project area to assist the Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee in assessing the nature of the request are also appreciated along with any plans prepared.
  3. The Funding and Recognition committee may require an Applicant to provide further information in support of their grant application, if applicable, a Council Officer will be in touch with you.
  4. All successful applicants are accountable for Council funding according to the below terms and conditions. No less than nine (9) months after funding is awarded, successful applicants must have completed the project and the requisite accountability form, attaching copies of all receipts (A receipt is required for any budget line item amounting to $250 or more). 
  5. Failure to provide adequate and timely reporting on funding may preclude further applications to grants administered by the Horowhenua District Council. 
  6. Any significant changes to the proposed project must be advised to the fund administrator immediately. Where partial funding is granted, unless otherwise expressed in writing, the applicant agrees (when uplifting the grant) that reduced funding will not affect the project as described in the application, despite shortfall. 
  7. If the application is successful, recognition of the Horowhenua Creative Communities fund must be made in any advertising or promotion of the applicant's project. Applicants should attach all supporting documentation that could assist the Horowhenua Community Funding and Recognition Committee in their selection process. 
  8. In all cases applicants must include: 
  • Written quotes for each expense item in your project budget that have a cost of over $250. Local suppliers should be used where possible. Where a preferred quote is not the least expensive quote provided, this should be indicated by the applicant.
  • A copy of your organisations latest financial statements (accounts) that includes disclosure of financial assistance received from other sources. Funds tagged for specific purposes must be clearly identified. Horowhenua District Council reserves the right to request that an applicant’s financial accounts are reviewed or audited as a condition of any grant awarded. Individuals applying do not need to provide financial statements.
  •  An up to date bank document that clearly shows an account number and the name of the applicant organisation (or parent body).

Terms and Conditions

  1. A grant recipient must: 
    a.    Spend the grant within nine (9) months of a grant request being approved, within the approved time frame specified in the Accountability Reporting and Payments schedule or upon request by Horowhenua District Council (whichever comes first).  Payment of any subsequent grants may not be made until all milestone accountability reporting requirements are met in full. 
    b.    Spend the grant only for the purpose(s) approved by, and subject to any conditions imposed by the Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee.  Return to the Horowhenua District Council any portion of the grant that is not spent on the approved purpose(s). If the grant payment includes GST, the grant recipient must also return the GST component of the grant. 
    d.    Make any files or records relating to the activity or project available for inspection within 10 working days if requested by Horowhenua District Council.
    e.    Keep financial records that demonstrate how the grant was spent for five (5) years after the end of the agreement term.
    f.      Acknowledge the receipt of the Horowhenua District Council grant as a separate entry in its financial statements, or in a note to its financial statements.
    g.    Inform Horowhenua District Council of any changes that affect the organisation’s ability to deliver the activity(ies) or project(s) (eg changes to financial situation; an intention to wind-up or cease operations; or any other significant event, before the grant has been fully used.
    h.    Agree to notify Horowhenua District Council if any of the grant money is stolen or misappropriated and to consider if Police charges need to be laid.
    i.       Agree that Horowhenua District Council have authority to publish that the grant has been made to the grant recipient for the approved purpose.
  2. During the term of this agreement a grant recipient may request a variation to the purpose, term, or conditions of this agreement. This needs to be requested before any expenditure, failure to do so will be treated as non- compliance with grant terms and conditions.
  3. A grant must not be spent on any item that falls within the exclusions outlined by Horowhenua District Council.
  4. Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions within this agreement, or the provision of false information in the request may result, without limitation, in Horowhenua District Council terminating this agreement and:
    a.    Requiring repayment of all or part of the grant.
    b.    Withholding payment of this and other Horowhenua District Council administered funds until issues are resolved.
    c.    Imposing additional terms and conditions before any Horowhenua District Council funding is approved.
    d.    Recommending to the Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee, to decline future funding.
  5. For the purpose of gaining or providing information relevant to the funding of the organisation, the Horowhenua District Council may disclose to, or obtain information from, any other government department or agency, private person or organisation.
  6. The Horowhenua District Council is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and may be required to release information unless there is good reason under the Act to withhold the information.
  7. A reduced level of funding (partial funding) may be offered by Horowhenua District Council, particularly when demand on the grant scheme is high. Where partial funding is awarded and subsequently uplifted by an applicant, the applicant agrees that the project can be completed despite the immediate shortfall. Applicants are given time to consider any funding awarded to them before uplifting.
  8. The decision of the Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee is final and not open to negotiation. If the Organisation’s position changes with respect to the submitted project then this should be advised to the Fund Scheme Administrator as soon as possible along with a formal request for the approved funding purpose to be modified. This will be referred to the Horowhenua Creative Communities Committee for determination.