He tipu ka hua investment fund Call for Proposals

We are inviting proposals for investment into Māori-led research programmes that will make a meaningful difference to the capability and capacity of Māori to engage with the Research, Science, and Innovation system and generate new research activity.

He tipu ka hua symbolises a commitment from the Crown to invest in growing and building Māori-led Research, Science, and Innovation (RSI). This fund is an incremental action in the pursuit of honouring Te Tiriti in RSI by providing dedicated and effective investment in Māori-led RSI. It prioritises investment in Māori-led RSI, Māori communities, mātauranga Māori and kaupapa Māori.

The fund will advance iwi, hapū, hapori, and Māori rōpū RSI priorities by growing and building on existing knowledge as well as investing in opportunities for knowledge generation. It will also allow for stronger deployment of RSI investment towards communities and rohe/takiwā where Māori knowledge is practiced, and where experts and practitioners are based.

The funding available

The total funding available over 5 years is up to $31m (excluding GST) in a one-off investment round. Funding is a 2-stage process and MBIE expects to fund around three successful applicants each stage. Only successful applicants of stage one can move on to stage 2.

Stage 1 — Implementation plan development

Applicants submit proposals for funding of up to $300,000 (excluding GST) to develop an implementation plan over a 6-month period. Applicants who are unsuccessful at this stage may be referred to the He aka ka toro fund or other MBIE funding mechanisms

Stage 2 — Delivery of research programme

A total of up to $6m (excluding GST) per year is available over 5 years to be split between successful applicants. Each applicant will receive a maximum of $2m (excluding GST) per year for up to 5 years.

Projects can be for less than $2m (excluding GST) per year and for a term less than 5 years.

How the funding can be used

What is fundable

  • Māori-directed and Māori-led science programmes in New Zealand and globally.
  • Research programmes with activities that:
    • are centred on pursuing opportunities that are a priority for Māori communities and reflect their aspirations
    • aim to deliver tangible results and benefits for Māori communities.
  • Projects that involve new activity in one or more of the following areas:
    • community-led research programmes or activities
    • enable the generation and application of Mātauranga Māori in RSI
    • projects where there is some connection or relationship between the RSI system and Mātauranga Māori
    • sharing of research outcomes and knowledge back to communities, national and global audiences
    • the application and implementation of research outcomes and activities for the benefit of Māori communities.
  • All reasonable costs directly associated with the project and may include:
    • personnel
    • travel
    • operational costs
    • subscriptions
    • tools/equipment and consumables

What is not fundable

  • Capital expenditure.
  • Research programmes that duplicate other funded activities.

Who can apply

Applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria below for their proposal to be assessed. Applicants who don’t meet these criteria will be declined funding on eligibility grounds:

  • Applications must be made by a New Zealand based legal entity that is a Māori organisation. A Māori organisation is defined as an organisation that identifies itself as Māori and uses (or wishes to use) research, science and technology or related activities.
  • Organisations must provide evidence of sufficient capacity and capability to implement and manage significant research activity. MBIE will look for evidence of an organisational size appropriate for the project, management capability and/or experience managing large scale projects. Such entities may be representative of iwi, hapū, and marae or be other bodies that are not defined by whakapapa.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply.
  • New Zealand Government departments (as defined in Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act 2020) are not eligible to apply for funding.
  • Wānanga established under the Education and Training Act 2021 are eligible to apply. All other Crown entities including universities and CRIs are not eligible to apply for funding.
  • Wholly owned subsidiaries of Crown entities are not eligible to apply for funding.
  • The terms and conditions of the Fund's funding agreement will apply to the provision of funding agreed between the contracting organisation and us. By submitting a proposal, applicants (and their collaborators) are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement.
  • Your proposal must not benefit a Russian state institution (including but not limited to support for Russian military or security activity) or an organisation outside government that may be perceived as contributing to the war effort.
  • Your proposal must not be for activities already funded by any government agency.
  • Applications must be made in our Investment Management System (IMS) within the application deadline, and comply with all formatting, content or other administrative requirements set out in this funding opportunity.

Meeting the needs and aspirations of Māori

The He tipu ka hua fund is expected to give effect to Vision Mātauranga enabling the Government’s Tiriti obligations in research, science, and innovation.

Vision Mātauranga

Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways signals that a future RSI system gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, is adaptable by design and connected for impact, and reflects Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique context and diverse population. 

Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways 

Application process

Applicants are required to complete their proposals in our Investment Management System (IMS) ­ a secure online portal. To help you prepare your proposal we’ve provided a proposal template.

  1. Proposals are entered and submitted in our Investment Management System IMS – a secure online portal. If you do not have an IMS login, you will need to request access. Before developing your proposal, you are encouraged to consider the eligibility criteria, the assessment criteria, and the terms and conditions relating to this Call for Proposals.
  2. The proposal template provides guidance on how to prepare your proposal and the information you are required to provide. We recommend you use the proposal template provided to draft the required information in a word processer of your choice and then when ready to submit, copy and paste the necessary segments into the appropriate IMS fields and upload your supporting documentation where directed.
  3. MBIE staff will be able to assist you with accessing IMS and providing guidance about how to go about entering content.
  4. The information in your proposal is used for assessment and forms the basis of the contract for successful projects.
  5. Proposals submitted in te reo Māori are welcomed. The assessment of proposals may take place in English. Applicants may choose to provide a translation of their proposal or rely on the MBIE procured translation commissioned without further recourse to the applicant. The choice of language will not influence assessment outcomes. Applicants must upload any translations into IMS and any translations must be consistent with the original te reo Māori version.  
  6. Applicants may be invited to present on their proposals to the Assessment Panel in person or virtually. Presentations in te reo Māori are encouraged. MBIE may engage a translator to support assessors.

Key documents

When developing your application, we encourage you to consult the following key reference documents:

Key dates

Key activity Dates
Proposal submission period 27 April 2023 until 12 noon, 6 July 2023
Information webinar – Register here(external link) 22 June 2023
Assessment Panel members published By 6 July 2023
Assessment Panel briefing 1 September
Assessment period 11 September to 6 November 2023
Assessment Panel meeting 4 to 5 December 2023
Decisions on funding for implementation plans announced Early February 2024
Contracting period for implementation plans February 2024
Contracts begin for implementation plans 1 March 2024
Implementation plans due to MBIE 30 August 2024
Assessment Panel meeting for full project decisions October 2024

Dates are subject to change. We will notify all date changes by email. To be added to the email notification list, email EIVM@mbie.govt.nz.

Assessment information

The following assessment information and process applies to both stages of funding.

Conflicts of interest

If you are submitting a proposal, check the list of Assessment Panel members below for any potential conflicts of interest. If you identify an actual, potential, or perceived direct or indirect conflict of interest, you must notify us before the application closing date by emailing EIVM@mbie.govt.nz with the details for further discussion.

Conflicts of interest may occur on 2 different levels:

1. A direct conflict of interest, where an Assessor is:

  • directly involved with a proposal (as a participant, manager, mentor, or partner) or has a close personal relationship with the applicant, for example, family members, or
  • a collaborator or in some other way involved with an applicant’s proposal.

2. An indirect conflict of interest, where an Assessor:

  • is employed by an organisation involved in a proposal but is not part of the applicant’s proposal
  • has a personal and/or professional relationship with one of the applicants, e.g., an acquaintance
  • is assessing a proposal under discussion that may compete with their business interests.

The conception of a close personal relationship is generally considered in relatively narrow terms, for example, that of a direct relationship (spouse/partner, sibling, dependent). Iwi or hapū affiliation would not normally rise to the standard of a direct conflict of interest unless the nature of other relationships, roles or public statements might give rise to an actual or perceived conflict of interest.

Assessment Panel members

Assessment criteria

The Assessment Panel will assess proposals on each of the criteria below and score them score them from 1 (Low quality) to 7 (High quality).

Excellence Criteria: 50% weighting

  • Māori-leadership: To what extent is the research programme Māori-led and does the organisation have the capacity and capability to manage the research activity or activities.
  • Priorities that reflect the aspiration of Māori: To what extent does the proposed research reflect the interests and aspirations of a Māori community or communities.
  • Quality of the science: To what extent does the proposal embody an appropriate, sound, and rigorous research methodology and design.
  • Feasibility: To what extent is the project likely to be feasible and practical and likely to result in the intended impacts.

Impact Criteria: 50% weighting

  • Expanded capacity: To what extent will the project expand the capacity of Māori communities and researchers to harness research, science, and innovation.
  • Benefits: To what extent will the project result in tangible benefits and results for Māori communities.

Applicant feedback

All applicants will receive oral notification of the outcome of their proposal at both stages followed up with written notification and feedback. Feedback will be based on information gathered from assessment panel members about the main strengths and weaknesses of each proposal through the assessment process. 

Assessment process

Assessment Panel members will:

  1. Accept/decline assigned proposals and declare any conflicts of interest.
  2. Assess and score accepted proposals against the assessment criteria below and provide comments (recorded in IMS). Based on the assessment, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to present to the assessment panel. The Manager, Strategic Investments at MBIE will decide on the shortlist.
  3. Meet and discuss the proposals and hear applicant presentations.
  4. Reach a consensus about the preferred proposals, feedback comments, and recommendations which will inform the Panel Chair's report.

The Panel Chair provides a report that includes funding recommendations to the Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise.

Funding decisions

The Deputy Secretary for Labour, Science and Enterprise at MBIE will make funding decisions based on Panel Chair’s report.

The decision and recommendations may also:

  • set special conditions in addition to the general terms and conditions set out in the Fund's funding agreement.
  • set precontract conditions.
  • make a variation to the proposed term of a proposal.
  • make a variation to the funding allocated from that proposed and require that the proposed implementation plan be negotiated to MBIE's satisfaction to reflect the changed funding.
  • decline to fund any proposals.

We will advise the successful proposal's contact person of the funding decision. The funding decision will be published on MBIE's website and via a press release.

MBIE may choose to conduct a further application and assessment round if:

  • 1 or more projects conclude earlier than expected
  • less money than expected is committed through the He aka ka toro fund.

Contracting and Payment

Successful applicants will enter into a funding agreement with MBIE ­funding agreement template. This funding agreement is expected to be signed and returned to MBIE within 2 weeks of receipt. Trusts may need to supply a copy of their Trust Deed.

Successful applicants for implementation plans will be paid the full funding amount on signing the funding agreement.

Successful applicants for full project funding will be paid:

  • 50% of their allocated funding for year 1 on signing
  • Automatic quarterly payments for the remaining funding.

Reporting and monitoring

For implementation plans

Progress reporting will be through discussions with MBIE Investment Managers during the development of the implementation plans. The submission of the final proposal will be classed as a final report.

For the full projects

For the full projects, the following reporting and monitoring applies:

  1. Progress reporting will involve written reports and oral (kanohi ki te kanohi or recorded) presentations.
  2. Regular meetings with MBIE to discuss the progress of the project in relation to the agreed work plan.
  3. Progress reports are due on an annual basis covering the period from the start date of the project to the last day of the month before the report is due.
  4. The final report is due no later than 1 month after the end of the project covering the period from the start date of the project to the end date of the project.
  5. Specific reporting guidelines will be supplied separately to successful applicants at the contracting stage.
  6. Reports will be submitted in our online portal and evaluated by MBIE taking into account other reporting by communities and/or discussions with the staff of the contract holder.
  7. Progress will be assessed annually so MBIE can determine what, if any, additional support is required by funded organisations.

Reporting content

Reports will require information on:

  • the status and progress towards delivery against the work programme defined in the implementation plan
  • the capability development, the development of people, and relationships
  • expenditure
  • mentoring arrangements
  • key achievements
  • emerging risks and what is being done to address them
  • whether or not the work programme has or will lead to the Fund outcomes.

Please provide reporting in a format suitable for sharing with Māori hapū, iwi and hapori.

The reporting guidelines will:

  • provide guidance about the key impact measures that funded organisations should report against
  • encourage the providing of information about the cultural, economic, environmental, and societal impacts of the projects
  • encourage communities to report using methods that are appropriate to them.


Email: Application queries: EIVM@mbie.govt.nz

Phone: 0800 693 778 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm)

Last updated: 04 September 2023