2021 Major Grant Recipients Announced.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is delighted to announce its 2021 major grant recipients.

Deeping Connections

Three organisations have been awarded major grants in 2021, all of which demonstrate a strong connection to our priority areas, and to our mission to:

Deepen connections between the people of Aotearoa New Zealand and UNESCO globally through the sharing of ideas and building capability for a better and more peaceful future.

Our 2021 major grant recipients are Ngāti Kuri Trust Board Inc, Diplosphere and UNESCO’s Chair in Dance and Social Inclusion, University of Auckland.

“The projects we are funding are all focused on idea sharing and knowledge building in areas that drive the National Commission’s work, including oceans and wellbeing, youth leadership and indigenous knowledge and language," says National Commission Chair, Robyn Baker.

“We are very excited to be able to fund these projects, all three will contribute considerably towards shaping a more sustainable future here in Aotearoa, in the Pacific and globally,” says Robyn.

Meet our 2021 Recipients

Ngāti Kuri Trust Board Incorporated

‘Giving our ocean a voice, through the sharing of indigenous knowledge and collaboration between indigenous youth groups in Aotearoa’.

This grant will help the 4th Generation (a group of young leaders of Ngāti Kuri descent) facilitate a gathering of indigenous, environmentally focused youth from around New Zealand, as well as set up a network to strengthen approaches to protect, restore and revitalise whenua, sky and moana together. The 4th Generation will be supported by the Ngāti Kuri Trust Board.

The first stage of the project will bring people to Ngāti Kuri ancestral lands to visit special sites in the rohe such as Te Rerenga Wairua, Parengarenga, Whangākea, Kapowairua where people can share the spiritual, cultural, and environmental connection to these areas.

Knowledge exchange sessions will include young marine scientists, indigenous leaders and knowledge holders, and developing training waka practitioners and navigators.

The second stage will further deepen relationships by bringing groups back to the rohe and working together to create a collective action plan to restore and revitalise our ocean in Aotearoa.


‘Rangatahi and Our Place in the World’

This grant will support a first national conference on international relations which will feature voices often missing in the public debate - Māori and youth. These voices - from iwi, business, academia and much in-between - will introduce new ideas and provoke public debate on topics such as climate change, security, foreign policy, and business and trade in the Asia Pacific region.

The conference will question what the term “Western values” means in Aotearoa New Zealand today when it comes to foreign policy. It will explore the links that have long existed between Māori and the Asia Pacific region - cultural, trade, and political - that bring an additional lens to New Zealand’s outlook, factoring in NZ’s unique bicultural foundation.

In doing this, the conference aims to excite and empower rangatahi discussion and nurture the development of new contributors to the national discussion on these issues. The conference will consist of plenary sessions and panel discussions with independent thinkers and new voices, featuring youth and Māori, on international relations.

At the conclusion of the conference a publication or roadmap will be developed which organisers hope will increase long-term awareness of Māori and youth perspectives on New Zealand foreign policy and security matters.

UNESCO’s Chair in Dance and Social Inclusion, University of Auckland

The Dancing Ocean

This grant will support a creative education hub in the South Pacific focused on researching, sharing and growing cross-indigenous knowledge on the teaching and learning of creativity and performance.

The project brings together four Pacific institutions to collectively explore and share indigenous educational approaches to creativity and performance. It will help develop meaningful and purposeful relationships between creative educators in the South Pacific region, with a focus on indigenous dancers and indigenous dance cultures.

The project promotes collaboration on dance art and educational practises across Melanesian, Polynesian and Aboriginal communities.

Brought together under the banner of the UNESCO Chair, this project partners Vou (Nadi, Fiji), the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (Port Moresby, PNG), National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association - NAISDA (Darkinjung land, Australia) and Waipapa Taumata Rau University of Auckland Ngā Akoranga Kanikani Dance Studies Programme.

Exhibition2 Exhibition2

Find out more about our Funding

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