Manaaki is a NZ$6 million fund for NZ NGOs working with in-country partners to support the most vulnerable and marginalised.

Information on Manaaki

Manaaki is the New Zealand Aid Programme’s streamlined contestable fund, which was launched in March 2019 for registered New Zealand non-governmental organisations (NZNGOs) seeking co-investment for smaller-scale development activities.

The name Manaaki reflects the fund’s focus on “uplifting mana through listening to, supporting and empowering” vulnerable, marginalised and hard to reach communities.

Manaaki currently has one funding round each year, with approved activities receiving MFAT co-investment of between NZ$100,000 and NZ$1.25 million. NZ$5 million was available in round one (year one) and up to NZ$6 million of MFAT co-investment is available in round two (year two).

Applications must target priority developing countries that reach the most vulnerable and marginalised, and demonstrate how proposed activities will deliver impact that aligns with, or complements, New Zealand Aid Programme priorities.

Applications for Manaaki round two opened on Monday 16 December 2019. Applications close 5pm Monday 30 March 2020. For more information on round two, please see below.

Manaaki Round One

The first round of Manaaki closed 10 May 2019 and resulted in nine applications, requesting just over $5 million.

Five NZNGOs were successful in securing funding under round one of Manaaki. All of the activities focus on the Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu), with a portfolio spanning education for children and people living with disabilities, health, disaster risk resilience, water, sanitation and hygiene, and human rights. More information on the successful applicants’ activities can be found HERE [PDF, 165 KB].

NGOs successful in round one are now in the design and appraisal process, to begin implementation in the first quarter of 2020.


Manaaki review of round one

While a full review of Manaaki will be undertaken after the two-year pilot, an interim review was completed in late 2019 to ensure lessons learned from round one could inform improvements to round two. This smaller review covered:

  • Appropriateness of eligibility criteria – funding range, in-country partners, co-investment and allowable number of applications per NGO;
  • Accessibility of Manaaki to diverse partners; and
  • Clarity and appropriateness of the concept note, application guidelines and assessment guidance.

The round one review involved analysing feedback from:

  • The NGO sector, including during the Annual MFAT/NGO Hui, in response to email requests and during bilateral discussions;
  • MFAT staff, the external due diligence assessors and the external concept note assessors; and
  • Interviews with the Council for International Development (CID) and six NGOs, including two who were successful in round one; one unsuccessful applicant; and three that did not apply.

Key changes resulting from the review include increasing the maximum MFAT co-investment level to NZ$1.25 million, increasing the overall funding allocation to up to NZ$6 million each annum, and broadening the criteria that NZNGOs must work with in-country civil society organisations. In round two MFAT will consider funding a NZNGO working with an in-country partner which is not a civil society organisation (such as local or national government) where it aligns with the principles and intent of the fund and there is a strong rationale presented. If you would like to apply for funding to work with a non-CSO partner, please get in touch to discuss this prior to submitting an application by emailing

Round One: Manaaki Outcome: August 2019

Manaaki Summary of Review Findings December 2019 [PDF, 440 KB]


Manaaki Round Two

In response to the impact caused by COVID-19, and feedback we have received from our NGO partners, the deadline for the second round of our contestable fund Manaaki, will be extended from 5pm 30 March to 5pm Friday 29 May 2020. Subject to any further unforeseen developments, the revised timeline for Manaaki is provided below, for your planning purposes:

  1. Concepts are due 29 May 2020
  2. Concepts will be assessed and due diligence undertaken between June – August 2020
  3. Activity design, appraisal and contracting will be completed between September – November 2020
  4. Implementation will start from December 2020 onward.

We are keen to be as accommodating as we can during this challenging time.  If you’ve questions in relation to Manaaki or any other MFAT activities, please do reach out to us at 

Please find linked below the Manaaki Guidelines for Applicants, Manaaki Application Form, Activity Design Document and Activity Appraisal Framework, and the Partnering for Impact Frequently Asked Questions.

Round Two Manaaki Guidelines for Applicants March 2020 [PDF, 993 KB] 

Round Two Manaaki Application Form March 2020 [DOCX, 389 KB] 

Manaaki Activity Design Document November 2020  [DOCX, 378 KB]

Manaaki Activity Design Appraisal October 2020 [DOCX, 360 KB] 

Partnering for Impact Frequently Asked Questions December 2019 [PDF, 644 KB]

Manaaki Round Two Application Update

In light of the uncertainty around the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Partnerships team at MFAT would be grateful if NGO partners could include brief responses to the following two additional questions in any Manaaki round two applications, due on 29 May 2020:

  1. Please describe how the design and implementation of your proposed activity could be completed if COVID-19 conditions and restrictions still exist during those stages.
  2. Please describe how the proposed activity remains relevant and/or could add value in the wake of COVID-19 (for example, will the activity help strengthen vulnerable and marginalised communities in some way, or respond to a current or anticipated need?).

The application form above has been updated accordingly. You are also welcome, however, to send the extra information requested in a covering email or additional attachment when submitting your application, if either of those options are easier.

Please feel free to reach out if you’ve any questions about this additional requirement (

Reporting Templates

Please see here for information on Manaaki reporting templates.