Tipu Toa: Build Back Better / City Recovery Fund

This fund is available to support initiatives that will contribute to Wellington's post COVID-19 economic recovery.

Tipu Toa: Build back better, The City Recovery Fund

Fund objectives

The objective of the fund is to support events, initiatives and partnerships that can support and boost the economic recovery in response to COVID-19 and contribute to the goals of Towards 2040: Smart Capital and Te Atakura – First to Zero. The fund will have a focus on city revitalisation and stimulating economic activity. The fund is not intended to sit alongside or replace the Government support packages.

Specifically, supported initiatives will re-create, create or retain jobs, support and invigorate the arts, culture and hospitality sectors, support Wellington as a domestic tourist destination, support innovation & economic recovery in key target sectors, and positively contribute to the Wellington's GDP and enhance our global reputation as a good place to do business. 

It is expected the fund will traverse the four well-beings – Social, Economic, Environmental and Cultural well-beings – as we seek to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

General Criteria and Fund Focus Areas 

The Fund Focus Areas and General Criteria include overarching criteria of supporting the economic recovery in response to COVID-19 and contributing to the goals of Towards 2040: Smart Capital and Te Atakura – First to Zero, however are separated into three categories as outlined below. 

Events that:

  • Strengthen the City’s profile as a leading events destination;
  • Promote vitality in the City;
  • Support and showcase the diversity and vibrancy of Wellington’s arts and culture sector; and
  • Support a strong events support structure, including the infrastructure and capability to deliver events. 

Initiatives that:

  • Contribute to the immediate recovery of the City economy;
  • Enhance or protect Wellington’s position as a leader in innovation and creativity;
  • Seek to use innovation and creativity to support recovery, revitalisation and job protection or creation; 
  • Contribute to sustainable economic outcomes; and
  • Align to the WellingtonNZ promotional campaigns.

Partnerships that:

  • Support the commercialisation of innovative or creative ideas that are Wellington based or focussed;
  • Add to the vitality, creative or cultural diversity of the City; and
  • Encourage collaboration that contributes to the economic recovery or long term sustainable economic outcomes.

Simply meeting or aligning to the General Criteria does not mean a funding proposal will be successful, that will be determined by the strength and merit of the proposal upon evaluation. For clarity, proposals do not need to meet all of the General Criteria.

Fund value

$7.6 million is available in this fund as a one-off fund from now until the end of 2020/21. This fund is the aggregation of three existing funds (City Growth Fund, the Capital of Culture activity and Destination Wellington) for the specific purpose of supporting and boosting the economic recovery in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and will revert back to their original purpose for 2021/22. $2.6m of this has already been committed to a programme of activity upon commencement of the fund.


Your proposal should give details of:

  • the initiative and outcomes sought 
  • all parties involved in the initiative
  • robust budgets and forecasts of the initiative
  • project plan with timings and milestones 
  • the nature and extent of the matched funding
  • the anticipated benefits to Wellington and the post COVID-19 Recovery and/or contribution to the goals of Towards 2040: Smart Capital and Te Atakura – First to Zero
  • how these benefits will be measured


  • Applicants must be Wellington City residents or ratepayers or have a physical presence in Wellington.
  • Matched funding is a prima-facie requirement so that no more than 50% of the cost of a proposal is funded by the CRF (value in kind is recognised as a contribution).
  • The matched funding requirement may be relaxed or waived in circumstances where the proposal is deemed to be sufficiently strong and the opportunities for achieving matched funding are constrained.

Ineligible use of this fund

This fund cannot be used for:

  • Developing a bid for further funding from Council or other institutions
  • Feasibility reports or studies
  • Start-ups (we will however, actively connect any start-up type opportunities with Creative HQ who have the skills and connections to aid start-ups.)
  • Initiatives that create an ongoing need for Council operational funding
  • Research and Development

Application deadlines

You can apply for the City Recovery fund at any time.

Apply for City Recovery funding

Apply online


Before you start the online application, make sure you have the following documents to attach. 

  • Your full proposal outlining the benefits to Wellington and how it supports the City’s recovery post COVID-19. The online form allows you to summarise key areas, but a detailed proposal document is expected. 
  • Budgets and forecasts for your proposal. 
  • Financial statements of the entity applying for the funding (for due diligence purposes). 

Applications for this fund are made directly to the City Recovery Fund administrators via the online application form, and not via the Council online funding portal.

Pre-application meeting

You can arrange for a pre-application meeting to discuss your proposed initiatives and check if there is specific information that may be needed to help evaluate your application.

Application process

The timeframe to process applications will depend on the quality and completeness of the application, the nature of the funding proposal and the need to seek further information before a decision can be made.

1. Apply

Check you meet the criteria for this fund.  Submit your application.

2. Review

  • Meet with officers to discuss your proposal.
  • Officers tests the benefits to Wellington and the City’s post COVID-19 recovery.
  • Officers reviews budgets, forecasts and plans.

3. Council recommendations

  • Funding conditions and performance milestones.
  • Reporting requirements and KPIs. 

4. Approval

Your application will be assessed and a decision made about whether to approve it. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of the approval process and any conditions to funding that may apply.

5. Funding agreements

Funding agreements between parties will be prepared and signed. These will outline the terms and conditions of any funding arrangements that have been approved, as well as all reporting requirements.

Contact us

Email: CityRecoveryFund@wcc.govt.nz