Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund

Fund Closing on 30 June

24 May 2022

As the Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund enters its final weeks, regional kaimahi of Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Arawhiti are rapidly funding kaitono around the motu to deliver support for whānau.

As at 20 May, $12.5 million has been approved for Phase 3, supporting the Omicron phase of COVID-19, ranging in value from $24,000 to $980,000.

Proposals of up to $200,000 are approved by agencies at a regional level, and up to $1 million by agency Chief Executives. Proposals above $1 million are approved by MCCF Ministers.

Many of the proposals are being considered, finalised, and approved within a week, based on them coming from existing kaitono for initiatives to be delivered by 30 June.

Kaitono are continuing to complete delivery of Phase 1 of the Fund, focused on rapid vaccination uplift, and Phase 2, focused on building community resilience for whānau, iwi and Māori communities. 

The Fund continues to work closely with the Ministries of Social Development and Health whose welfare and health responses under the COVID Protection Framework run up to December 2022 and beyond. 

Total Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund funding, to support rapid vaccination and vulnerable communities since October 2021, will be around $132 million, with $28.5 million going to other government initiatives.

Phase 3: Omicron criteria

The funding supports the current needs and objectives of applicants, while continuing to complement support through the Care in Community (CiC) to:

  • Facilitate access to CiC supports
  • Support those needing to self-isolate and not eligible for CiC
  • Provide extra support with self-isolation to what CiC delivers
  • Provide continuity of care either side of self-isolation, including support to engage with whānau ora and health providers
  • Support those voluntarily self-isolating due to vulnerability.

More detail regarding the funding criteria for Phase 3: Omicron is available from Te Puni Kōkiri regional offices or by emailing maoricovidfund@tpk.govt.nz.

Funding will also complement activity being delivered through other agencies or funds, including Whānau Ora, and the whole of government welfare response.

Not in scope

The following activities are outside the scope of the fund:

  • projects/activities already funded by other government agencies, including as part of the immediate response and recovery to COVID-19
  • existing operations of an iwi or organisation, including staff costs
  • retrospective events and activities
  • applications where activities are based outside New Zealand
  • medical costs
  • legal advocacy or litigation or court costs
  • payment of existing debts
  • new business ventures
  • events with a political component or purpose.

Since the original fund was established, the Māori first dose vaccination rate has increased from 69% to 91% and the second dose rate from 49% to 88%. Read the original MCCF announcement here.

Proposal process

Providers can contact their local Te Puni Kōkiri or Te Arawhiti office to enquire about MCCF funding or email maoricovidfund@tpk.govt.nz.

How is the Fund governed and administered?

Te Puni Kōkiri is administering the fund alongside Te Arawhiti. The Ministries of Health and Social Development lead the co-ordination of the health and welfare responses. All four agencies work closely together to make sure hapori Māori receive the support they need.

MCCF contracted providers

The list of Fund contracts are updated as new contracts are signed.

Weekly reports to Ministers

These reports are provided weekly to Ministers with information on the MCCF

Māori vaccination rates

Māori vaccination rates have been progressing well. Work by the Ministry of Health and DHBs, Māori organisations and providers, including MCCF-funded providers and iwi, have all contributed towards these results.

Latest data can be checked on the Ministry of Health website.

There is still work to be done to achieve health equity and encourage more Māori to get vaccinated and boosted, especially among groups such as tāngata whakahā (disabled whānau), homeless and hard to reach whanau, and rangatahi and pakeke Māori under 35 years. 

Whole of Government response to COVID-19

The fund is part of the whole of Government COVID-19 protection framework or traffic light system, to respond to Omicron in the community and is led by the Ministry of Health. Also known as the traffic light system, its public health measures aim to protect everyone and minimise the impact and spread of the COVID-19 virus in communities. It has three levels:

  • Green is when there is some COVID-19 in the community
  • Orange is used to control spread at low levels when it is present in the community
  • Red is used to actively bring case numbers down if needed

The best form of protection for Māori against COVID-19 continues to be double vaccination and boosters.

The Government encourages everyone to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their whānau and to follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidance, which is constantly updated.

Māori and iwi can also access the Karawhiua website as a trusted source of information, with useful resources and information including the interactive mapping tool to find their nearest vaccination clinic.

COVID-19 Care in the Community

The COVID-19 Care in the Community support is part of the whole of Government response. 

On 25 November the Government announced $204.1 million to provide welfare and community support for individuals and whānau who contract COVID-19 and need to isolate at home. This was further expanded on 17 February

Agencies and providers delivering the Care in Community welfare response are providing supports including food, access to accommodation, financial assistance and connection to the services Māori and other New Zealanders need.

The Ministry of Social Development, leading the coordination of the welfare response, is working with Regional Leadership Groups and through existing partnerships with local iwi and Māori, Pacific and ethnic communities, the disability sector, community providers and leaders, councils, and government agencies.  

Whānau who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted and supported by local health and welfare providers in the community. Some whānau may need to go to hospital, into MIQ or alternative accommodation.

Alternative Isolation Accommodation

These guidelines explain how the Care Coordination Hubs assess the needs of COVID-19 cases for alternative accommodation and the process involved.

Alternative Isolation Accommodation Guidelines Ministry of Health

This support complements that provided through the Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund (see Omicron criteria section).

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Care in Community welfare response

Kaitono should contact a nearby “Care in the Community COVID hub” to source alternative accommodation resulting from a positive COVID test.

Care in Community COVID Hub providers for alternative accommodation [PDF 153KB]

Ministry of Social Development regional teams are working locally through existing partnerships with iwi, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic communities, the disability sector, community providers and leaders, councils, and government agencies.

Funding is used to bolster existing resources so those involved in supporting whānau to self-isolate can access what they need. You can read more about how funding has been allocated here.

When the Ministry of Health (MoH) contacts someone to tell them they need to isolate, Health will also check whether they need any help while isolating.

MSD will assess their needs and connect people with high welfare needs with a local provider known to them or that best suits their needs.

MSD or their provider will organise financial support to pay for things like food, rent or extra data, or will refer them to a provider who can meet their needs.

The Community Connection service ensures people needing help can access information, support and services from government agencies and service providers.

They service supports the welfare needs of individuals and whānau to keep them safe while isolating and in transition from self-isolation.

View the list of providers currently delivering the Community Connector service (PDF 203.87KB)

Rapid Antigen Tests and other tests

Rapid antigen testing (RATs) is used extensively for COVID-19.  People who have COVID-19 symptoms or are asymptomatic and a household contact can order and then collect RATs from a Community Collection site. The Government also has a targeted rural service for those who live in remote rural areas.

Once you have one, here's how you take a Rapid Antigen Test  and here's how you report the results. 

This COVID-19 testing site  will determine which test (RATs or PCR) is best for you.

This page provides all of the Ministry of Health information about Rapid Antigen Tests.

The Karawhiua website has a location finder for where to get tested or vaccinated.

Funding for the Māori Health Omicron Outbreak Response

Māori health and disability providers’ increased COVID-19 operations to ensure whānau have improved access to health services and continuity of care in the community. This sits alongside Care in the Community services are integrated and whānau centred at the regional level.

Focus areas for this funding include:

  • Increasing free or low-cost health consultations, extending service hours, outreach services particularly for vaccination, testing, mental health support and services for tāngata whakahā and tangata whaiora
  • Coordination, kaiāwhina navigation, tailored communication and service integration within Care in the Community operating model to ensure integration of services regionally with other health and social services as appropriate
  • Additional staff costs including further training, re-qualifying of staff who can re-join the workforce easily, back up arrangements to maintain services throughout the Omicron response and vaccination efforts
  • Other operating costs to support their workforce with safety and wellbeing.

Accessing Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development funding and information

Providers should check the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development  websites for more information about the Care in the Community health and welfare response to help ensure people receive the support they need to isolate and avoid spreading COVID-19.

Other useful links:

What are the responsibilities of the various agencies?

Agency Welfare Response

Ministry of Social Development​

  • Food (via community food providers and Community Connectors)
  • Special Needs Grants
  • Income related accommodation costs to sustain current home
  • Power, gas, heating or water bills
  • Senior services
  • Income support​
  • Employment support
  • Community Support Services (via Community Connectors and other social service providers)      
  • Other urgent costs

Ministry of Health​

  • Māori health services​
  • Healthcare​
  • Mental health services​
  • Disability services​

Ministry of Education​

  • Food in schools​
  • Devices & connectivity​

Oranga Tamariki​

  • Family support services​

Te Puni Kōkiri ​

  • Whānau Ora​
  • Māori housing support​
  • Māori employment and enterprise​

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development


Kāinga Ora​

  • Homelessness​
  • Social housing​
  • Support for home ownership​
  • Housing supply​

Accident Compensation Corporation ​

  • Injury prevention, care and recovery​

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment​

  • Business support​
  • Accommodation support

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