Purpose of the Fund

Through the Tiaki Wai Fund, Te Wai Māori seeks to enable Māori to develop expertise to promote and advance Māori interests in freshwater fisheries through development, research and education. The purpose of the fund is to:

  • Increase Iwi and hapū capacity and capability in freshwater fisheries and their ability to exercise rangatiratanga over their freshwater fisheries
  • Promote and share indigenous fisheries expertise, knowledge and understanding
  • Increase the quality and range of information to Iwi and hapū on freshwater fisheries and their interests thereof
  • Enhance the health and wellbeing of the indigenous fisheries and their environment.

Tiaki Wai Fund Application Form and Guidelines

Download Application Form Download Guidelines

Tiaki Wai Fund Application Form 2020 – Download Word Document here

Tiaki Wai Fund Guidelines 2020 – Download PDF here



The Māori Fisheries Act 2004 specifies that Te Wai Māori can distribute funds to the following groups:

  • Māori;
  • Mandated Iwi Organisations; or
  • Other Māori organisations

Projects will be assessed for their strategic value in achieving the purposes of the Fund. In order to be eligible for funding, applicants will need to demonstrate how their project addresses the priority knowledge gaps identified in Understanding Taonga Freshwater Populations in Aotearoa – a report prepared for Te Wai Māori by NIWA.

Projects will not be eligible for funding if they have received funding from the Wai Ora Fund three times previously. However, applicants who have received funding previously for different projects are eligible.

For further information on eligibility, please refer to the Tiaki Wai Fund 2019 Guidelines.


Shared funding is preferred (i.e Iwi/hapū/local or regional council/other funding agents provide funding to project). Applicants should note that the maximum funding amount that can be awarded per project is $5,000 GST exclusive. Applicants need to provide a minimum 20% contribution to the project, whether it be cash or in-kind.

Funding decisions are based on the:

  • Funding criteria
  • Priority areas specified by Te Wai Māori
  • Quality of applications received

In assessing applications, Te Wai Māori may take into account the past contract performance of applicants who have previously received funding.

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Capital expenditure
  • Costs relating to motor vehicles and buildings
  • Costs relating to business operating expenses
  • Retrospective costs
  • Intellectual property royalties
  • Commercial ventures
  • Legal advice
  • Resource consents
  • Scholarships/PhD
  • Water Conservation Orders

For further information on the priority areas for funding, please refer to the Tiaki Wai Fund 2019 Guidelines.