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Funding Available For Community-led History Projects

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage encourages people undertaking community-led history projects to apply for funding through Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants and Whiria te Mahara History Research Grants before applications close on 15 October.

For the first time, application forms for both grants are available in te reo Māori. In addition, forms for the Oral History Grants are also available in Samoan and Tongan.

"Translating the information about these awards is another way to encourage iwi Māori and Pacific communities to access this funding. We encourage anyone interested in leading a history project in their community to apply, and we especially welcome applications exploring Māori and Pacific history," says Manatū Taonga Chief Historian Neill Atkinson.

Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants have $100,000 available for community-led oral history projects which reflect diverse identities and perspectives relating to the history of Aotearoa and its close relationships with the Pacific. Applications for oral history projects conducted in any language are welcome.

Money for these grants was gifted to Aotearoa from the Australian government in 1990, to honour 150 years of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The grants were first awarded in 1991, and since then, $2.3 million has helped fund 477 oral history projects. These are the only grants in Aotearoa which specifically support oral history projects, and have allowed many communities to record, store and celebrate their history.

Over its 30 years, the grants have supported projects exploring the lives of the workers at Picton’s Freezing Works and at Dunedin’s Hillside Railway Workshops, indigenous Fijians living in Wellington, young people living with ME, trans people, and those who helped establish Zealandia in Karori.

Many Māori oral history projects have been funded, including those which explored the lives of Ngāti Toa women, Ngāti Kuri’s traditional use of indigenous plants, the experiences of girls who attended St Joseph’s Maori Girl’s College in Napier, and those who knew Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana.

Whiria te Mahara History Research Grants also have $100,000 to support historians, researchers and writers working on non-fiction written projects that will significantly enhance our understanding of our country’s past. Since its inception in 1990, $3.3 million dollars has gone toward supporting over 300 projects that bring the history of Aotearoa to life.

"Circumstances such as COVID and the Dawn Raids apology event have reinforced the value that oral history and written histories have within communities. Manatū Taonga is proud of the huge variety of projects that have been funded over the last 30 years, which have allowed diverse communities to explore their own rich vein of experience in Aotearoa," says Neill Atkinson.

Applications for both grants close on 15 October 2021. For more information and to apply to either Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants, or Whiria te Mahara History Research Grants head to the Manatū Taonga website.

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