Te Mana o te Wai Fund

Applications are currently closed

Ko Te Mana o te Wai, he mana taketake. Mā wai e kawe, e hiki i te mana o te wai Māori? Mā tātou.

Water has always had mana. Who will uplift and carry the mana of freshwater? We all will.

Amount funded

$30 million is available for projects from the Te Mana o te Wai Fund (via the Jobs for Nature Programme).

Key dates

13 July 2021
Funding round closed
te mana o te wai

The concept of Te Mana o Te Wai is about putting our freshwater first.

Read this page in te reo Māori


Te Manatū Mō Te Taiao Te Mana o Te Wai fund has received a very positive response since it opened in February.

To process the expression of interests (EOI) that we have received to date, we closed the current round of the Te Mana o Te Wai fund on 13 July 2021.

Any updates on the fund will be available on this webpage, or you can subscribe for updates to tmotw@mfe.govt.nz.

Goals of the fund

  • Support Māori to improve the health of freshwater bodies of importance to them
  • Create nature-based employment opportunities
  • Build capacity and capability for Māori to participate in and make decisions for freshwater management (including in the implementation of the Essential Freshwater reforms).

Together we want to ensure the freshwater of Aotearoa supports the health of our people, our environment and our economy.

Eligibility and assessment

The following groups are eligible to submit an expression of interest for funding:

  • marae/whānau
  • hapū
  • iwi
  • Māori land trusts and incorporations
  • individuals or groups representing one or more of the above and/or with an interest in a specific catchment area
  • collaborations, collectives, or clusters of the above.

Read the Guide for expressions of interest for how projects will be assessed and prioritised.

Make an expression of interest

  • We recommend you read the Guide for expressions of interest before filling out the Expressions of interest form [PDF, 230 KB].
  • Submit your expression of interest form to the Te Mana o Te Wai Fund Team with 'TMOTW expression of interest' and your organisation name in the subject line.
  • The current round of the Te Mana o Te Wai fund closes on 13 July 2021.

Investment framework to help shape your proposal

The Jobs for Nature Reference Group has developed an investment framework that may help you shape your proposal.

The framework includes information on the key principles the overall programme is promoting including:

  • employment priorities
  • environmental scope
  • benefits of partnerships
  • importance of financial and delivery aspects of projects
  • risk management.

See the Jobs for Nature investment framework [PDF, 733 KB].

After submitting

Stage 1 – Review

  • Every two weeks from late March 2021 we will review the expressions of interest we have received to check if they are eligible for funding.    
  • The review will also identify:
    • projects that are investment-ready
    • projects better suited (in part or all) to other Jobs for Nature funding sources
    • lower dollar-value projects that can be directed to partner organisation(s) to manage funding allocation  
    • projects with merit but which need further work before they are investment-ready. The TMoTW Team will be in contact to help further develop these proposals.
  • If your project is not suitable for funding, we will let you know. 

Stage 2 - Assessment

  • If your project is identified as meeting the eligibility criteria, it will be considered by an assessment panel who will make recommendations to the Ministry. 
  • Read the Guide for expressions of interest for further information on next steps. 

Stage 3 – Funding agreement

  • If your project is approved, you will be invited to proceed to the next stage of the funding process. This involves developing a project plan and signing a deed of funding. 
  • If needed, an initial start-up funding contribution can be provided to you while the deed of funding is being developed. This would fast-track some aspects of the project.
  • Once a deed of funding has been signed, the wider work programme of the project can begin.

Previous funding

In 2014, the Government provided $5 million (over two years) to create the Te Mana o te Wai Fund. The funding was announced in partnership with the Māori Party.

This funding was awarded through a one-off contestable funding round held in 2015.


Subscribe for latest updates

Te Mana o Te Wai Fund Team