Update: New grant applications now paused

Thank you to all the community groups and other organisations that have engaged with us so far to help support affected communities.

The grants programme has attracted a very large number of applications. We have paused the grants process for new applicants as we expect the existing applications to exceed currently allocated funding.  This means we are not accepting new applications at this stage. 

Currently, $10 million has been budgeted for grants funding, of which approximately $4.1 million has already been allocated.  

Grants are just one way the New Zealand Disaster Fund is being used to support affected communities.  Some funding is being allocated to other initiatives, such as the extension of the Te Karaka household bundles pilot to other affected areas, and helping communities better prepare for the next disaster.  

If your organisation has been unable to make the grant application deadline due to exceptional circumstances, you can contact the team at info@redcross.org.nz to discuss your situation.  

There are other sources of funding available for households, businesses, and organisations.

Other ways to get funding support  

The New Zealand Disaster Fund is supporting communities as they recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events in January and February. There is currently a pause on new grant applications.  

New Zealanders have opened their hearts to support the New Zealand Disaster Fund.

We are working to distribute funds quickly, fairly and in ways that will best help vulnerable people in the communities affected. To ensure our funding makes a real difference to as many people as possible, we’re focusing our grants on community efforts where there is no other alternative funding available.

We will help people do what needs to be done today as well as better prepare communities for future emergencies.

We have two grants available:

The Community Support Grant

This grant is for the costs being incurred by those supporting the basic needs of people impacted by the recent severe weather events and Cyclone Gabrielle. For example, providing people with temporary accommodation, food or water, or supporting community clean-up efforts. Applications can be made for between $5,000 and $50,000.

The Community Enable Grant

This grant is for the costs being incurred by those providing financial support, resources or assets to enable communities to recover quickly from recent severe weather events and Cyclone Gabrielle. For example, supporting community-wide temporary access to water, telecommunications equipment such as satellite phones, contributing to community rebuilding, community-wide recovery or connectedness activities. Applications can be made for $50,000 and over.

More about the grants

These grants are:

  • not available to individuals or households
  • available to entities or organisations providing services to communities impacted by the recent severe weather events and Cyclone Gabrielle
  • available for projects/activities/services happening within 12 months of receiving the grant.

One application per entity or organisation is preferred, but multiple applications may be made and will be considered.

Applications, where there are multiple funders involved, are acceptable and will be considered.

We will be looking to fill gaps rather than duplicate other agencies'/groups' efforts.

More about the Community Support Grant

The Community Support Grant provides up to $50,000 per applicant.

To apply, please complete the online application form.

Applications will receive a response within 10 working days. Completion times will vary depending on the number of applications we receive.

Funding is allocated to eligible entities or organisations for activities that meet the criteria on a first come, first served basis.

Payments will be made into nominated bank accounts once grant agreements are signed. 

As part of receiving a grant, we’ll ask you to work with us to share progress on how the funding is being spent.

More about the Community Enable Grant

The Community Enable Grant provides grants above $50,000.

To apply, please complete the online application form.

Eligible entities or organisations applying for activities that meet the criteria will receive a telephone call to follow up and discuss next steps at least a week before the relevant decision date.

There are two funding rounds:

  • Round 1: 3 to 18 April 2023.
    A decision meeting will be held on 2 May 2023.
    Applicants will be notified within 10 days of the decision meeting.
  • Round 2: 19 April to 17 May 2023 – extended until 5pm 25 May.
    A decision meeting will be held on 31 May 2023.
    Applicants will be notified within 10 days of the decision meeting.

Payments will be made after each funding round decision meeting into nominated bank accounts.


To be eligible to apply for a grant, your organisation needs to meet the following criteria:

1. Alignment with our Fundamental Principles.

New Zealand Disaster Fund application criteria map

2. Be providing services, support or programmes in one or more of these locations:

  • Te Tai Tokerau | Northland
  • Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland
  • Waikato
  • Te Moana-a-Toitehuatahi | Bay of Plenty
  • Tairāwhiti | Gisborne
  • Te Matau-a-Māui | Hawke's Bay
  • Tararua

3. Be a;

  • I. charity. Charities have a purpose that generally involves the relief of poverty, advancement of education, advancement of religion or any other matter beneficial to the community (not falling under the previous heads). Not all purposes that benefit the community are recognised as charitable. AND/OR
  • II. iwi/Māori organisation. Working on behalf of the iwi that claim rohe interests within the local authority’s region or district, or working on behalf of Māori resident in the same area. AND/OR
  • III. community group. A group with a non-commercial purpose that benefits all or a section of the community, e.g. sports club, social service organisations, marae committee, charitable trust. AND/OR
    IV. local government. Legal entities, headed by locally elected members representing their communities and making decisions on their behalf. AND/OR
    V. business – an entity engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities. Businesses can be for-profit entities or non-profit organisations.

If you meet the definitions of a charity, iwi/Māori organisation, community group or business but are not registered as a charity or as a legal entity, you can still apply. However you must identify a registered charity trust or legal entity to hold and administer funds on your behalf. Their details can be provided in the application form.

These grants are not available to:

  • Businesses seeking support for their own business. However, businesses that are supplying goods or services to support communities may apply. Businesses seeking reimbursement of costs already incurred helping communities will need to provide supporting evidence of the work undertaken.
  • Individuals or households. However, individuals may form an informal community group with others and apply as a collective. These groups must identify another registered charity, business or other legal entity to hold and administer funds on their behalf. These details can be provided in the application form. 

Applications can be made by entities/organisations anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand as long as the funded programme/service will be delivered within one of the affected areas.

What we will fund

Your activity must meet one or more of these criteria:

Activities that address basic needs such as shelter, food, water, and warmth

Examples of what we might fund: Costs associated with a community group who might be hosting displaced people, foodbanks that are providing specific additional food support, groups collating and distributing personal hygiene kits, entities/organisations delivering individual grants programmes such as Mayoral Funds, supporting 'whole of community’ recovery plans, supporting temporary access to water, ensuring effective telecommunications, contributing to built environment welfare activities.

Activities supporting the mental wellbeing of those affected

Examples of what we might fund: A local agency setting up a helpline for affected communities, a community group providing psychosocial support to affected rural communities. Supporting national entities that provide specialist mental health support I.E. counselling services, trauma services, providing Psychological First Aid training to communities.

Activities that support community clean-up efforts

Examples of what we might fund: Purchasing and distribution of clean-up tools and supplies, Purchasing and replacing household items such as bedding or first aid kits, a local community group that want to purchase a number of dehumidifiers to loan to community members, or a marae needing essential clean-up equipment. The costs associated with groups of people being mobilised to assist in the clean-up activities Working with local government and other agencies to support community-wide clean-up efforts. Supporting families to re-establish themselves back into communities.

Activities that bring affected communities together and/or help affected communities be better prepared for future emergencies

Examples of what we might fund: Purchasing satellite phones for a community group in an isolated area, replacing unusable emergency equipment such as stretchers or emergency food supplies, organising a community activity that focuses on connecting neighbours and promoting cohesiveness in an affected community. Emergency preparedness training and equipment for community groups. Supporting/contributing to large-scale or multiple community activities or events that promote community connectedness. Bulk re-supplying of stock/equipment that may have been used in the emergency response.

What we will not fund

  • Individuals
  • Programmes or activities which do not fit within our criteria (i.e. those that are not focused on immediate needs, mental wellbeing, community clean-up, connecting and preparing communities)
  • Programmes or activities which do not directly benefit affected communities
  • Activities or programmes that result in commercial or personal gain
  • Religious or political advocacy
  • International travel or conferences, or similar capability-building activities 
  • Purchase of products that may be detrimental to health, such as alcohol or tobacco
  • Administration costs not directly connected to the delivery of eligible services/support

What you need to apply

1A. Proof of entity legal status i.e. charity number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
1B. Contact details of an entity that does have a legal status and is willing to receive and administer funds on your behalf
2. Proof of bank account (either applicant entity or fund manager entity)

Need help applying?

If you are having trouble completing your application or need further support you can contact New Zealand Red Cross on 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 27677).

You may have to make an appointment time to call back.

You can also visit your local service centre for advice, information and support.

Map of New Zealand Red Cross locations

Grants approval process

Grants will be assessed by our internal Red Cross assessment team.

Depending on the amount applied for, Community Enable Grants will receive final approval from New Zealand Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund Steering Group, or the Secretary-General, or National President.

If your funding application is unsuccessful, you will receive a letter confirming the reason(s) why the application was unsuccessful.

If you wish to dispute your declined application you can do this in writing and send it to info@redcross.org.nz.

Declined applications that are disputed will be reassessed by the New Zealand Red Cross assessment and processing team, before being reconsidered by the New Zealand Disaster Fund Working Group.

There may be other organisations offering funding in your area, information about some types of alternative support can be found on our caring for yourself and others page.

Caring for yourself and others

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