Fund snapshot

Why do we have this grant?

More than 27% of the city’s population (more than 46,000 Hamiltonians) were born overseas, according to results from the latest Census. The city has been a resettlement centre for refugees since 2005, with about 1300 now calling Hamilton Kirikiriroa home.

Hamilton recently embarked on the journey to become a Welcoming Community, a nationally recognised initiative that aims to help recent migrants, former refugees, international students, and anyone new to our city feel more supported and included. Council created this fund with seed funding from MBIE to enable our community groups to create exciting, inclusive welcoming activities for any newcomers to Hamilton in line with the standards of Welcoming Communities.


What does this grant look like?

The purpose of Council's Welcoming Communities Fund is to support and enable new Welcoming Communities projects and activities that offer support in welcoming people into their local community. These activities must align to the outcomes of the Welcoming Plan as stated below: 

  1. Inclusive leadership: Leaders both designated and unofficial reflect the diversity in the local community.
  2. Welcoming Communications: People of all cultures and backgrounds feel included, listened to and well informed.  
  3. Equitable Access: Opportunities to access services and activities and to participate in the community are available to all, including newcomers. 
  4. Connected and Inclusive Communities: People feel safe in their identity, that they are connected with and belong in the community.  
  5. Economic Development, Business and Employment: Newcomers are supported to access local employment information, services and networks. 
  6. Civic Engagement and Participation: Newcomers are encouraged and enabled to get involved in local government and civil society.  
  7. Welcoming Public Spaces: Provide opportunities to build trust and relationships between newcomers and members of the receiving community.  
  8. Culture and Identity: There is a shared sense of pride in being part of a culturally rich and vibrant community. People feel their culture is respected and valued. There are opportunities to learn about each other's cultures.

For further details and a full explanation on each outcome please check our Welcoming Plan Hamilton - Te Waharoa Ki Ngaa Hapori Kirikiriroa 

Application criteria

Who can apply?

Generally Council funds community organisations which meet the following criteria:

  • They are legally constituted as not-for-profit community organisations (charitable trusts or incorporated societies) and have been operating for a minimum of 12 months.

  • They have the capacity to deliver the project as outlined in their application.

  • They have records such as a bank account, annual accounts, minutes of meetings.

  • They agree to the terms and conditions of any potential grant as outlined in their grant agreement.

  • They agree to provide further information on request, and to provide accountability for any funds received.

Note: If you wish to apply, but do not meet the above criteria, please contact Gary Ho. (Groups may be considered if they apply under the umbrella of another organisation).

What gets funded?

Priority will be given to applications from community organisations that are:

  • Eligible to apply, and are

  • Applying for new projects/activities which align to at least one of the outcomes of the Welcoming Plan, and

  • Do not request more than the grant limit of $5,000.

  • Collaborative projects are encouraged.

Note: Applications requesting a new development or extension of an existing programme where newcomers benefit, may be considered. Talk to our team before you apply.

What will not be funded?

  • Existing business as usual projects, activities or programmes which continue to be the same as they have previously been conducted.

  • Projects or operational costs already substantially funded by Hamilton City Council.

  • Retrospective funding, i.e. Projects that have already started or have been completed.

  • Political organisations or social clubs.

  • Repayment of debt, Loan, mortgage repayments or investments of any kind.

  • Project costs that will be directly paid back to Hamilton City Council e.g. venue hire

The application

1. Application processes, guidelines and help.

You’ll need to register on Smartygrants first, then follow the guidelines to complete your application. This will set out what you need to get together before you apply.

There are many help options available through online guides and video tutorials when you are logged into the Smartygrants platform.

Also, here’s how we can help you with the online application process:

  • You can ask for assistance from one of our funding administrators, if you need it.
  • You can attend an information session (held in February each year).
  • You can attend one of our regular funding workshops held throughout the year.

You can also contact a funding administrator from our Community Development Team for more information. Either call our Customer Services Team on 07 838 6699 during office hours, email us at

2. When and how you can expect to hear back from us.

The funding round will remain open until all the funds have been allocated. When this happens the funding round will close until 30 June 2024. Once submitted, applications will be assessed at regular intervals.

It could be up to 4-8 weeks before the outcome of your request is known. Please plan your project dates accordingly as Council does not fund retrospective requests.


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Last updated 26 September 2023