Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund

Update – $72.08 million and 85 contracts signed to accelerate Māori vaccination
18 January 2022

Phase 2 of the Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund (MCCF) is now underway.

The $120 million fund is part of the whole of Government COVID-19 protection framework or traffic light system. Read the original announcement here.

Government has approved $72.08 million among 85 contracts to accelerate Māori vaccinations. This leaves $47.92 million of the original $120 million fund available for Phase 2 to support Māori communities to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 environment, especially planning for recovery and resilience in highly impacted hapori Māori.

This focus complements the $204.1 million made available under the Care in Community (CiC) model to support the welfare needs of individuals and whānau who contract COVID-19 and need to self isolate . 

MCCF Phase 2 will support building the capability of iwi, hapū and whānau ora, health, social service, regional and community organisations to deliver resilience. 

Agencies are already looking at concepts and proposals from kaitono for an initial tranche of funding. These include those who submitted proposals during Phase 1, which are more suitable for Phase 2, and/or those that supported vaccination efforts in Phase 1.

With the remaining putea we will target areas of high need, so encourage providers to talk to their regional Te Puni Kōkiri office so proposals for the later tranches can be informed by local considerations.

We’ve seen many examples of local collaborative efforts to minimise the effects of COVID-19, delivering quickly and effectively to their communities.


In summary the funding criteria includes:

  • ongoing vaccination activities, particularly reaching out to fully unvaccinated Māori
  • communications and connections
  • support for home isolation planning
  • supporting capability of Māori organisations
  • support for Māori affected in other ways by Covid, but not required to self-isolate
  • urgent unmet community needs.

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.

Approval process

Assessments consider vulnerability factors such as ‘red’ areas within the Traffic Light System; those not yet vaccinated, living in remote areas, in poverty, without permanent housing, who are unemployed or not engaged in education or training, or need support for mental health conditions and addictions.

MCCF agencies (Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Arawhiti, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development) are reviewing current information and defining priority factors, including regional need and specific vulnerabilities and will then consider and begin recommending proposals for Ministerial approval.

An initial allocation of Phase 2 funds is expected to be approved by the end of Kohitātea.

Providers can contact their local Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Arawhiti or Ministry of Health office if they wish to enquire about MCCF funding or email maoricovidfund@tpk.govt.nz.

How is the Fund governed and administered?

A Ministerial Oversight Group overseeing the Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund is made up of the Minister of Finance, Minister for Māori Health, Minister for Māori Crown Relationships (Te Arawhiti) and Minister for Māori Development.

A senior officials group recommends proposals that meet the fund criteria to the Ministerial Oversight Group for decisions. 

Te Puni Kōkiri is administering the fund alongside Te Arawhiti and the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Social Development is involved in Phase 2, as the agency leading the co-ordination of the welfare response.

MCCF contracted providers

Phase 1 supported initiatives to complement existing vaccination roll-out efforts. Initially priority was given to existing providers and iwi already delivering the vaccination rollout or able to implement quickly.

This connected vaccinators with whānau and whānau with vaccinators, mobilising access to vaccines, incentives to support vaccine update, community engagement activity, and communications initiatives.

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

Māori vaccination rates

Māori vaccination rates have been progressing well - as at 14 January, the Māori first dose vaccination rate is 88% and the second dose rate is 83%. 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, including some regions still needing to improve their vaccination rates. 

Vaccination rates also need to improve for groups such as tāngata whakahā (disabled whānau), homeless and hard to reach whanau, and rangatahi and pakeke Māori under 35 years. 

The work being done on the vaccination roll out by the Ministry of Health and DHBs, Māori organisations and providers, including MCCF-funded providers and iwi have all contributed towards these results.

Whole of Government response to Covid

A key part of the whole of Government response to Covid in the community is the COVID-19 protection framework, 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.

The framework has three levels:

  • Green is when there is some COVID-19 in the community
  • Orange will be used to control spread at low levels when it is present in the community
  • Red will be 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, a trusted source of information for Māori and iwi.  It has useful resources and information and whānau can use the interactive mapping tool to find their nearest vaccination clinic.

Covid Care in the Community Model

The Covid Care in the Community model 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, as Covid cases appear in the community.

Agencies and providers will deliver on the Care in Community welfare response. This support will include food, access to accommodation, financial assistance and connection to the services Māori and other New Zealanders need.

The Ministry of Social Development is leading the coordination of the welfare response, 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 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.

The health response will fund and find alternative accommodation if needed for self-isolation.  Welfare support will fall to MSD.

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

Providers should check first with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development websites for more information and potential funding streams for Māori, iwi and communities responding to Covid. 

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) welfare provider queries regarding funding for Care in the Community can be sent to community_information@msd.govt.nz

What are the responsibilities of the various agencies?

Agency Welfare Response

Ministry of Social Development​

  • Food (via foodbanks, Special Needs Grants)​
  • Income support​
  • Employment support ​
  • Housing costs​
  • Social/community services​

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 & 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​

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