Latest updates on Partnering for Impact events. For funding application information, please consult the relevant fund page.

COVID-19: Immediate measures available for NZNGOs

Message from the Partnerships Team - 31 March 2020

E ngā rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.  

MFAT’s focus over the last few weeks has been on helping countries prepare for COVID-19, agreeing an initial support package, dealing with the movement of people, and preparing for the current lockdown. The challenges Pacific countries face are significant and our scenario planning has led us to conclude that financial stability, social cohesion issues, and security issues will be very real in a number of countries.  We believe that we have a reasonable understanding of vulnerabilities across our development relationships.  However, New Zealand’s capacity to provide support is at present limited – due to demands on our own system and because transport links are closing down.

We believe NZ NGOs have an important role to play. With your established in-country partners, we trust that some of you will remain able to continue to support local vulnerable communities. That said, we are conscious that COVID-19 is impacting you and your local partners in many ways. We’ve appreciated the feedback we’ve been receiving in this regard, and remain keen to continue hearing from you - including about the ways you and your partners are adapting to the situation, and also the ongoing development and COVID-19 related support you are looking to provide.   


Stage one: immediate measures 

In response to your feedback about the impact COVID-19 is having on your operations, the Partnerships Team has been giving careful thought to the types of measures we might be able to immediately offer for development partnerships with us that are within our current allocations. We are conscious we have a diversity of partners, and that each of you will require bespoke, fit-for-purpose support.  We propose to continue to have conversations with you to assess what might work best.

 The types of immediate measures we will consider on a case-by-case basis, include:

  • No-cost extensions for up to 12 months for activities that require this. We are also open to ending activities early if this is preferred/appropriate in the circumstances.
  • Re-allocation of funding between activity years as appropriate.
  • Reporting extensions of up to 3 months will be considered where this is necessary and partners are otherwise up to date on their reporting. Some essential information will still be required.  
  • If an activity needs to be temporarily suspended, we are comfortable with local partners continuing to be paid for a short period, with a review by the end of May 2020.  Local staff would need to be productively alternatively employed in ways that broadly contribute to activity outcomes for MFAT to consider providing relief beyond this period.
  • A partial, time-bound relaxation of co-investment on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of six months. We would require you to work closely with us to plan how any reduction of the overall funding envelope would affect delivery.
  • Adaptations to activities where it allows your partner to continue to deliver activity support and/or undertake COVID-19 related development work, if it makes sense within the overall outcomes of the activity. 

We have also been engaging with other government agencies to confirm the extent to which the NGO international development sector is able to access business continuity packages. We will continue to share any information we receive.

We will continue to progress the Negotiated Partnerships Programme and activities for Manaaki round one.  However, in response to NGO feedback, we have deferred the closing date for Manaaki round two by eight weeks to 29 May 2020 (see post below). 


Stage two: short to medium term measures

In addition to the immediate actions above to ease pressure and support adaptation, we are also beginning to explore other possible options, which we need time to develop.  These options might include:

  • The ability for MFAT to top-up co-investment – if, for example, partners can demonstrate that the work is essential to ensuring the sustainability of the activity’s outcomes.
  • Repurposing funding unable to be spent on other activities. We’d be interested in hearing if there is any COVID-19 related development work that you and your local partner(s) are capable of delivering over and above what you are already doing.

We need time to work through stage two the issues and options, and plan to engage the new NGO reference group Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa when we’ve done further thinking.

To assist with this, we’d welcome it if you could continue to engage with the Partnerships Team on any COVID-19 related impacts for ongoing activities or any changes to activities that you have planned or think may be possible in response to COVID-19.  For each activity we’re keen to confirm what will continue as is, what might be suspended or ended and what might need variation. 

We will also be working with the broader Pacific and Development Group to prepare a regular update, which will be shared with the sector.  If you have any COVID-19 related stories you or your local partners would like to include, please do let us know.  

We look forward to remaining in close touch with you all during this challenging time.  If you have any questions or comments, we’d welcome hearing from you (

Kia tiaki tō hauora,

Partnerships Team

March 2020: Manaaki Round Two extension

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 March 2020  [PDF, 723 KB]

Manaaki Activity Design Appraisal March 2020 [PDF, 548 KB]

Please note the Manaaki Activity Design Document and Manaaki Activity Design Appraisal are indicative only and may be amended prior to NZNGOs beginning design in round two.

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

January 2020: Partnering For Impact Wānangā

Manaaki sign FC and WWF
We provided more information about Manaaki Round 2
Loudeen Parsons, the Family Centre and Sholto Fanifau, WWF
Tui Dewes presents on Negotiated Partnerships
Tui Dewes and Greg Coyle

VSA and Oxfam

Tui Dewes, MFAT and Greg Coyle, The Salvation Army
Stephen Goodman, VSA and Jo Spratt, Oxfam
Kylie Enoka, SCNZ and Susie Koo, MFAT


 We held Partnering for Impact (P4I) wānangā in late January in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We provided an update on progress with P4I, presented our new P4I Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Framework, shared some tips for applying for round two of Manaaki and provided more information about our new P4I NGO Reference Group: Toroa.  There was a great turn-out at each of the wānangā, and we really appreciated the useful feedback we received.   

If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to be in touch via

January 2020: Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa ('Toroa') - New NGO Reference Group

Albatross, or Toroa

Following on from the success of the inaugural Partnering For Impact (P4I) NGO Reference Group, we are moving to set up a new reference group to support the ongoing design, implementation and adaption of the P4I programme. The new reference group is called Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa).

Please click here to find the Terms of Reference [PDF, 394 KB] for Toroa. 

If you are interested in nominating yourself, or someone else, please complete the Expression of Interest [DOCX, 312 KB] form.  

All nominations will be accepted as long as the nominee has agreed and the information sought in the EOI form is provided.  Please note that inaugural Reference Group members may be appointed, as might representatives from organisations not receiving MFAT funding, as well as those being considered for/receiving MFAT funding - including from PFID, Negotiated Partnerships and/or Manaaki.

Applications will close at midday on Monday 17 February 2020.  We will contact all those who submitted EOIs by the end of February with the outcomes of the application process.  We plan to hold the first Toroa in Wellington in March 2020.

If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to be in touch via

December 2019: MFAT and World Vision in Solomon Islands

The MFAT Partnerships team was fortunate to join World Vision NZ recently in the Solomon Islands. We participated in the Negotiated Partnership programme design workshop, sharing views on supporting communities in remote regions to realise economic and social benefits. We discussed the benefits of adaptive management and what that means for on-the-ground staff. We welcome engaging with our partners on the ground, and seeking to live-up to our organisational value of manaakitanga – respect.


October 2019: MFAT - NGO Hui

Mihi whakatau

On 22 October 2019, around 120 participants attended the Annual Manatū Aorere/MFAT NGO Hui at the Tiakiwai Conference Centre in the National Library. Under the theme of "Partnerships", the hui focused on engaging meaningfully with the domestic international development NGO sector to advance New Zealand Aid Programme priorities. MFAT's Chief Executive Chris Seed reflected in his opening sppech on the way in which MFAT's values and the Pacific Reset principles influence the way we work. A copy of his speech is available here [DOCX, 37 KB]. He spoke too about MFAT's Partnering for Impact programme, which seeks to better leverage the relationships, resources, and technical expertise available within MFAT and NZ.


Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister for Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities and Customs, who delivered the keynote address.

The hui was attended by Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister of Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities and Customs, who delivered the keynote address. Minister Salesa focused in her comments on her personal experience in creating synergies between the Government's domestic and international efforts to partner with and uplift Pacific peoples.

A panel of PDG senior leaders also took to the stage to outline key programme priorities in their respective areas, including opportunities for NGOs to work with MFAT.

In line with feedback from NGO partners ahead of the hui, the day also included a wānanga on Effective Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning for Better Development Outcomes.

We were very happy with the hui, and have also received positive feedback from the development sector. Thank you to everyone who made this a special and successful hui.