Purpose of the funding

This funding of $36 million will ensure Māori health providers can continue to support Māori communities while responding to COVID-19. This funding comes after engagement with the Māori health and disability sector, which showed providers are doing an amazing job and require further support the COVID-19 response within their current resources.


Equity is one of five principles outlined in the Wai 2575 Hauora Report and is included in the Ministry’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Framework which requires the Crown to commit to achieving equitable health outcomes for Māori. 

Supporting Māori-specific investment into the COVID-19 response will help to ensure iwi, hapū, providers, and Māori communities are equitably resourced to respond to and recover from COVID-19. This is critical for ensuring equitable outcomes for Māori across the COVID-19 response.

Priority areas

The $36 million will be split across four priority areas: 

  • $17 million has been allocated to help Māori health providers (Providers) adapt their services to support the COVID-19 response, whilst also maintaining their other essential health services. This funding will also resource additional staffing requirements and offer any staff wellbeing support to sustain the workforce.
  • $14 million will help whānau access health services, medications, and hygiene products. It will also help provide greater reach of vaccination, testing, and other health services to hard-to-reach areas. 
  • $3 million will strengthen the Māori psychosocial response, ensuring whānau have access to mental health and wellbeing services.
  • $2 million will ensure Providers have sufficient funding to manage the long tail of this response, sustain their efforts, and help them prepare for future outbreaks.

From within the $36 million Māori COVID-19 Delta Outbreak Response funding, $5 million has been transferred to Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) to deliver Māori lead end-to-end initiatives to support whānau affected by the COVID-19 Delta outbreak and ensure access to COVID-19 vaccinations. 

This partnership with TPK is centred on achieving equitable health outcomes, particularly in the COVID-19 vaccination rates, for Māori.

Funding distribution

In recognition of the current outbreak, the Ministry are distributing funding to Providers through both existing contracts and a streamlined contestable process. Providers who are already part of the COVID-19 Māori health response with current contracts will be able to access this funding through a variation to contract and for other providers, there will be an application process. 

The funding distribution to District Health Board (DHB) regions is primarily based on the Māori population projections (from Stats NZ). A small weighting was applied to recognise known COVID-19 risk factors (such as Māori hospitalisations for cardiovascular or respiratory conditions), age groups that are harder to reach, current COVID-19 vaccination results, as well as recognition of regions where the current outbreaks are located. 

Providers who are already part of the COVID-19 Māori health response with current contracts were given priority due to the roles they play in delivering COVID-19 services. A contract variation process commenced in early October 2021 for this cohort. Other providers who are facilitating access to vaccinations for individuals and whānau will have the opportunity to apply for funding through an application process starting mid-October 2021.


If you have any questions, please email covidmaorihealthgrants@health.govt.nz.