Creative Communities Scheme

Funding to support community arts & culture projects in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty

Applications are now closed for this round.

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What is the Creative Communities Scheme?

Creative New Zealand spends over $3.2 million each year supporting around 1,800 projects through the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS). Creative Bay of Plenty, on behalf of Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty Council, administers the CCS for our districts.

The scheme aims to increase participation from the local community in the arts sector, support the diversity of local cultural traditions and encourage and engage young people to participate in local arts. The term ‘arts’ is broadly defined to mean all forms of creative and interpretative expression.

Who can apply?

Any individual or group can apply on the basis that the individual is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. Two rounds of funding are allocated each year.

What are the criteria?

To get funding through CCS, your creative project must focus on at least one of the following:

  • Participation – create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in arts activities
  • Diversity – support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities
  • Young People – enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with and participate in the arts

There are five local priorities for Tauranga and Western Bay. Your project is more likely to receive funding if you can demonstrate alignment to at least one of these outcomes as informed by Toi Moana Arts & Culture Strategy:

  • Visionary – Grow, enable and attract creative people, a creative workforce and innovative enterprise (e.g. projects that showcase success and promote local creative innovative champions, projects that support and encourage local creatives to work together or projects that support Māori Arts and Culture entrepreneurship)
  • Vocalising –  It is easy to access and participate in arts and culture every day (e.g. projects like arts events and markets happening in our public spaces like the Tauranga CBD, projects that are site-specific and honour Māori stories as well as significant cultural/heritage sites in our region)
  • Vibrancy – A network of vibrant arts and culture organisations and facilities meets our diverse needs, in every part of the region (e.g. projects that facilitate collaboration by connecting art communities together, projects that increase Māori and multicultural participation in arts and culture, projects that utilise existing facilities in our region)
  • Valuing – Our diverse cultural identities are celebrated. Local Māori  culture is a unique point of difference (e.g. projects that celebrate Māori culture and other diverse multicultural identities by building a culture of inclusivity, valuing the diversity of all people and the arts)
  • Art and Sustainability – Projects that focus on sustainability in some way

How do I make an application?

Download the Application Guide here. Please read the Application Guide before completing your application. 

We ask that you submit your application and any associated project completion reports in a digital format to If you have trouble accessing a computer or require some assistance in completing your form online please get in touch.

The application forms can be found below. Please use the Tauranga application form if your project falls within Tauranga City Council limits, or the Western Bay application form if it falls within Western Bay of Plenty District Council limits.

Please note that combined funding is no longer available, you will need to make two separate applications for projects that intersect both councils. If you’re unsure – talk to us.

I need help with my application…

Free presentations on the application process and criteria are being held:

  • Tauranga from 2pm – 3pm on Tuesday 23 February and
  • Via Zoom from 2pm – 3pm on Wednesday 24 February

You must register for these sessions. Email if you would like to attend, noting your preferred session.

Be Inspired

Find out more about what makes a strong community arts project, resources to develop your project, funding and support.

The Application Process

  1. Download the application form (below) – make sure you download the application form for the relevant sub-region.
  2. Your application form and any supporting documentation should be submitted as ONE PDF file in portrait format. We recommend using a free online PDF editor to merge your supporting documents with your application form.
  3. Make sure you have signed the declaration.
  4. Once you have submitted your application, it is given to an independent panel to assess. The panel will decide whether your project receives funding or not, and how much money will be granted.
  5. You may decide to present in person to the panel in support of your application. If so, we will contact you to confirm your speaking time.
  6. Creative Bay of Plenty will get in touch with you to advise the result of your application.

If you have difficulty with any stage of your application, please get in touch. Contact our funding advisor Annie:

Download Application form for Tauranga 

Download Application form for Western Bay of Plenty 

Contact Annie Hill to discuss the Creative Communities Scheme or your projects funding requirements. 

Project Completion Reports:

Please email completion reports to

Download Project Completion Report

MYTH BUSTER 1: “I’m too young to apply and won’t be taken seriously.”
MYTH BUSTER 2: “The focus is on visual arts.”
MYTH BUSTER 3: “I’m not good enough to apply.”
MYTH BUSTER 4: “I have to be an established artist/organisation/business to apply.”
MYTH BUSTER 5: “I can’t claim my time.”
MYTH BUSTER 6: “I have to be an arts organisation to apply.”