Museum Hardship Fund – Definitions

The following terms have been defined to provide some clarity for our applicants around the eligibility and criteria of the Museum Hardship Fund and its intended purpose. If you would like further clarification, please email our Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Putea | Funding Advisor for the Museum Hardship Fund:

Kirsty Timu, Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Putea | Funding Advisor, Museum Hardship Fund,


A condition that causes suffering, difficulty or unpleasant experiences that disrupt the equilibrium of something.

For the purpose of this fund, hardship should primarily be demonstrated through loss of income but this is not the only accepted measure of hardship. As per the criteria, hardship can be experienced as a proportion of operating budget, projected ongoing consequences for the organisation’s financial sustainability, impact on collection care and access, impact on staff, impact on public programming and the opportunity costs of COVID-19 recovery.

Please note that there is no minimum monetary threshold for the hardship experienced but instead each case will be analysed on a case-by-case basis. 


Specific and unique objects that form the core of a museum or galleries activities for exhibitions, research and education. This term is inclusive of documentary heritage collections.

For example, artefacts, objects, instruments, archives, oral histories, recordings and photographs that are publicly owned.


Treasure or anything that is prized. This term can be applied to anything considered to be of value including socially or culturally valuable objects, resources, phenomenon, ideas and techniques (Te Aka Maori-English Dictionary)

For the purpose of this fund, taonga is considered to be a treasure or artefact and must be a tangible object.


A house, building or archive specifically designed to hold taonga.

For example, a marae, wharenui or whare-tipuna, whare korero and pātaka iringa korero.

Non-profit organisation:

A legal entity that has been established to carry out activities on behalf of a collective with no intention of making a profit or gain for an individual’s use or benefit.

For example, an incorporated society, iwi authority, or a charitable trust.

The following link will enable a search of registered charities:

Umbrella organisation:

An organisation that formally controls or coordinates the activities of other organisations, often promoting a common purpose and sharing resources.

For example, an iwi runanga or tribal council can be an umbrella organisation for multiple hapu and marae institutions.

Capital projects:

Works carried out to create a new asset or space or to modify the use, function or layout of an existing asset or space

For example, a new building project for the museum/gallery/whare taonga.

Capital Item:

A physical asset expected to last more than 12 months such as property, plant and equipment.

As part of the criteria, this fund will not support the purchase of capital items expected to last longer than 12 months and in excess of $1,000 excluding GST. For example, a new quality Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system to help with the conservation of significant historic portraits.