The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund is looking for new or ongoing services or initiatives that help our tāngata whaiora – or people living with mental health and addictions challenges – stay connected, supported and informed during COVID-19. We want to see how your charitable organisation or group is using digital or phone-based technologies to help them whiti/shine and flourish during the next three months. 

You can apply for any amount of funding, from $1,000 up to $20,000 per charitable organisation or group to support your mahi/work. Up to $200,000 is available.

To make the application process as easy as possible, we’ve put together some tips on how you can apply and what will help your application become a successful one.

We’re looking for applications that:

  1. Are led by a charitable organisation, or a community group backed by a charitable organisation. If you’re applying for a community group, you’ll need to include which charitable organisation is supporting your group along with their contact details in your application. If you are also receiving funding from them for your service or initiative, you will need to fill in the Table 2 template before you apply and upload it to your online application form.

  2. Show how your project will tautoko/support, inform and keep tāngata whaiora/people with mental health and addictions challenges connected during COVID-19. Who will you reach? Using what kinds of technology – for example, phone chats, online group events, video chats, etc? To provide what kind of tautoko? You might be helping tāngata whaiora and their whānau who are receiving support, have received support in the past or have never accessed mental health and addiction support services.

  3. Show us how receiving the grant will sustain your mahi/work during COVID-19. The grant should be able to sustain your proposed service or initiative over the next three months or until your organisation or group can get back to ‘business as usual’ after COVID-19. Before applying, fill in the Table 1 template to list the parts of your service or initiative the Fund will support. You will need to upload your completed Table 1 template when you apply.

  4. Describe how your mahi reaches and supports priority groups, if it does. The Fund will prioritise applications which help tāngata whaiora who also identify as Māori, Pasifika, and/or people who are older, live with disabilities or significant health considerations, belong to migrant or rainbow communities or who are rurally isolated. How will your service or initiative connect with one or more of these groups and help them to get through COVID-19?

  5. Include tāngata whaiora in your mahi. If you employ tāngata whaiora or people with lived experience of mental health and addictions challenges within your charitable organisation or community group, show us how they will lead, direct or be involved in your service or initiative.

  6. Talk about how your mahi ties to and enhances other COVID-19 response services and information sources. For example, does your service or initiative fill a gap in Aotearoa’s COVID-19 response? Does it promote existing sources of COVID-19 information more effectively to raise awareness among an iwi, hapū or community, or make connections with any other COVID-19 supports from government agencies or social service providers? Tell us how!

  7. Describe how your mahi can reach tāngata whaiora and their whānau. Why and how do your outreach methods (for example, phone chats or online support groups) suit your community? How will you reach people and help them to stay informed, connected and supported during these uncertain times?

Examples of projects that may qualify

The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund will fund services and initiatives for tāngata whaiora and their whānau that help them stay informed, connected and supported.

For example, your service or initiative might:

  • help communities, workplaces, iwi and hapū stay aware, informed and up to date on how the Government’s COVID-19 response might affect them 
  • tautoko/support tāngata whaiora and their whānau to stay socially connected using telephone and online tools
  • create and deliver virtual support groups and care groups to ensure the wellbeing, resilience and safety of tāngata whaiora and their whānau.

The Fund will support costs to change how your organisation delivers services in response to COVID-19. For example, the Fund will support the costs of broadband to allow your organisation to deliver services online, or the cost of employees who will deliver services. 

Please note: The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund will not support capital expenses such as the purchase of machinery, computers or tools.

Ready to apply?

We’re looking out for your fresh ideas to reach, support and meet the needs of tāngata whaiora during COVID-19. We can’t wait to hear how your new or existing mahi will help these groups through these uncertain times!

Get in quick, it’s easy to apply by clicking on our application form here.

Applications are open until 5pm on Thursday 28 May 2020.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email Gina Giordani at

Nau mai, haere mai – we welcome your applications!