Supporting our public arts and heritage venues

Arts, Culture and Heritage

A fund that has previously contributed to the preservation of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Antarctic hut and improving mobility access at Waikanae’s Mahara Gallery, is now open for new applications, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Kiri Allan announced today.

“Supporting communities to ensure their local arts, culture and heritage venues continue to provide value and enrich the culture of Aotearoa is important. These spaces bring people together, preserve the things we value, and tell our shared histories—for present and future generations.

“Subject to the quantity and calibre of applications this year’s round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF) has up to $13 million available to support capital projects at performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare taonga throughout Aotearoa,” Kiri Allan said.

“The RCHF is a contestable fund of last resort that assists communities to complete capital fundraising for eligible projects.

“While COVID-19 has made it challenging to advance capital projects generally, communities throughout New Zealand have long-planned cultural projects which now have the vast majority of funding in place. The RCHF supports projects like these by funding shortfalls to ensure projects reach completion.

“Some applications may be to commence seismic strengthening projects as a matter of urgency. Others may be climate crisis response projects to improve an institution’s energy and water use efficiencies.

“I also encourage applications for projects making taonga collections safer and more accessible to communities.

“Since the establishment of the RCHF, Government has supported 26 capital projects across the country, awarding a combined total of $39.7 million.

“Cultural institutions funded in the last round were Te Pou Theatre, Henderson, Auckland ($1,170,356) and the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Rotorua ($632,000).

“It’s exciting to see the continued success of regional cultural venues like these, as they are absolutely vital to the wellbeing of our communities,” Kiri Allan said.

Applications, for capital projects with funding shortfalls, are invited to apply by 5pm on Friday 15 July 2022.

Background information

The Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF) is a capital fund of last resort for public art galleries, museums, performing arts venues and whare taonga. Heritage buildings housing significant collections are also eligible for funding consideration.

Applications to the RCHF should be for genuine fundraising shortfalls which prevent an otherwise construction-ready project to proceed at pace.

The RCHF was established in 2016 with a multi-year appropriation (MYA) of $29.527m. In 2018-19 its MYA was renewed for another four years with an indicative allocation of $6.667m per annum. Since 2016, over $39.732 million in funding has been allocated to 26 projects, including:

  • performing arts venues (10 grants totalling $13.969 million)
  • whare taonga (1 grant of $0.300 million)
  • art galleries (4 grants totalling $13.555 million)
  • museums (8 grants totalling $9.173m)
  • mixed purpose art and museum centres (2 grants totalling $1.306 million)
  • a one-off grant ($0.180 million to Hillary Huts project in Antarctica)