The Mātātuhi Foundation
has been established by the Auckland Writers Festival to support the development of the literary landscape of New Zealand.

About the foundation

About the foundation

Supporting activities that provide opportunities for New Zealand writers to develop and promote their works and for readers to increase their appreciation of New Zealand literature and/or increase their engagement with the work of New Zealand writers; and

Funding activities that contribute to literacy in Aotearoa and/or provide transformative experiences for readers of New Zealand literature, and thereby enhance appreciation for the works of New Zealand writers.


The Foundation is independent of the Festival Trust, with a Committee comprised of three independent members, the Festival Trust Board Chair and the Festival Director. The current Committee members are:

  • Anne Blackburn
  • Paula Morris
  • Phillipa Muir
  • Anne O’Brien
  • Peter Vial


The Foundation initially aims to make up to ten one-off grants of $2000 - $5000 per year, contingent on available funds.


Expressions of interest are invited twice a year, with deadlines of 31 October and 31 May.

The Foundation will only respond to Expressions of Interest submitted via the online EOI form and only in circumstances where they wish to advance discussions and/or confirm grants.

Any agreed funding will be subject to a commitment to post-project reporting.

Criteria for Expressions of Interest

The Foundation will grant funds for projects that:

  • Relate to New Zealand literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry)
  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Deliver broad community benefit outcomes
  • Use innovative and cost-effective platforms including digital
  • Are new or business expansion projects rather than business as usual
  • Represent well considered, robust propositions with identified, achievable and measureable deliverables


The Foundation will generally not cover:

  • Business-as-usual activities
  • Ongoing operational or staff overheads
  • International travel
  • Projects that can access full funding elsewhere
  • Projects connected to the annual Auckland Writers Festival

Support the foundation

The Mātātuhi Foundation is a registered charity and will rely on bequests and investment to build the capital from which it aims to support the literary landscape of New Zealand.

Please consider supporting the Foundation through a bequest. For further information please get in touch to discuss options for benefaction.

Contact us


Will the Foundation provide support for individual writing projects?

The Foundation will not normally fund daily household expenses and/or wages for writers but may consider supporting research or other activities associated with individual projects.

Will the Foundation support local projects that involve overseas writers?

The Foundation’s kaupapa is to support New Zealand writers but the inclusion of international writers alongside will not necessarily exclude the project from support.

Will the Foundation support promotional activities for writers?

The Foundation does not exclude funding in this area and all proposals will be considered on their merits and ability to deliver to our long-term objectives as outlined above.

Will the Foundation support literature-related projects from submitters who have no prior track record of literary sector funding or projects?

Whilst the Foundation anticipates that most successful projects will be driven by people with demonstrated sector success, it is open to projects from newcomers where those projects are robust, compelling and deliver broad benefit.

Can I ask for more than $2,000 - $5,000?

No. Whilst in exceptional circumstances, and when assessing budgets, the Foundation may choose to offer more than this maximum, this will be entirely at the Foundation’s discretion and initial EOIs should be realistically pitched at the stated level.

If I submit an EOI when can I expect to hear back from the Foundation?

All submissions will be acknowledged as received. However, the Foundation will only make subsequent contact if they wish to advance discussions on your project. If you have not heard from the Foundation within six weeks of closing date you can assume you have not been successful.

Can I get feedback on why I have not been successful?

All decisions are at the discretion of the Foundation and feedback will not be provided except where the Foundation considers it merited. Please note that the Foundation will need to weigh up a variety of factors in making its decisions, including availability of funds, so failure to progress does not imply that the project is not recognised as valuable.

If I am unsuccessful can I re-submit the same project again?

Whilst you are welcome to re-submit we would encourage you to present new projects in future rounds as it is likely that unsuccessful but strong projects will generate feedback when first presented.

Can I submit more than one project?

You may submit as many projects as meet the criteria.

How can I see what projects have been supported?

Supported projects will be documented on our website once approved for funding.

How can I support the Foundation’s work?

The Foundation welcomes bequests which will enable it to build capital reserves and strengthen its funding capability. For further information please contact us on

  • Applicant contact details

  • Expression of interest