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Disability Consumer Leadership Development Grant

Tū tonu mai e te Kaihautū i te kei o tōu waka – A voyage leader stands up to many a tempest
The Consumer Leadership Development Grant process is available to watch in New Zealand Sign Language.

About the grant

Consumer leadership development grants are intended for disabled people and their whānau to develop leadership skills to benefit themselves, their families/ whānau and/ or the wider disability community development activities.

This grant is also available to organisations funded by the Ministry of Health to deliver Disability Support Services (DSS) or Disabled Persons Organisations (DPO) that are part of the DPO coalition to provide leadership opportunities to disabled people, their families/ whānau and/or the wider disability community.

Organisations or collectives without a Disability Support Service contract may still be eligible, refer to the Who can apply section on this page for more information.

The funding for Disability consumer leadership grants has been increased for 2022. This should enable more consumers to access consumer leadership training this year, focusing on the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach and principles.

The next grant round for 2022 opens on Wednesday 1 June 2022.

Applying for 2022 grants

Our second funding round will open on Wednesday 1 June and close at midday on Friday 1 July 2022.

Applications can only be completed and submitted via the online grants portal. There are two steps:

  1. Register on the online grants portal (this can be done at any time and it will save your details). Te Pou will verify your registration.
  2. Complete and submit your application for the grant (you can do this from 1 June).

For support with the grants portal or application process, please contact our grants team.

We recommend submitting your application on our online grants portal at least 3–7 days before the closing time. This gives the grants team time to review your grant application before it is submitted to the external grant moderation panel.

To help with preparation, you can see the application questions here.

If you have previously been successful in receiving Te Pou grant funding, please ensure all previous reporting and accountability is up to date.

You can expect to hear back from us with the outcome of your application in July 2022.

How the grant can be used

Individuals and organisations can use the Consumer leadership development grant to cover the costs of disabled people or their whānau/family to take part in activities to develop their leadership and encourage mana motuhake. For this grant, ‘consumer’ includes disabled people and their whānau.

The grant can be used for:

  • course, conference, or workshop fees
  • related resources (for example, workbooks, tutors/facilitators)
  • accessibility costs for disabled people, including travel and accommodation and the cost of support people (accessibility costs do not count towards individual or organisational caps).

Note to service providers: the grant does not fund course development and administration, standard service delivery, service development and business-as-usual costs. However, in exceptional circumstances, the panel will consider course development applications on a case-by-case basis.

The leadership activity must:

  • develop leadership skills
  • be for the benefit of individual disabled people or the wider disability sector
  • be accessible for disabled people
  • not already be fully funded by other agencies/funds
  • start (and usually end) in the calendar year of the grant
  • be delivered in New Zealand.

Who can apply

Consumer Leadership development grants are available to individuals, family/ whanau who are eligible for Ministry of Health-funded Disability Support Services (DSS), and organisations who are funded by the Ministry of Health to provide Disability Support Services. You may be eligible even if you are not currently receiving services.

  • Applying as an individual

    Anyone eligible for Disability Support Services (DSS) can apply directly for the consumer leadership grant.

    Applicants must provide evidence from either Needs Assessment and Service Coordination services (NASC), your service provider or Individualised Funding details when registering on the grants portal.

  • Individuals applying through an organisation

    Organisations can sponsor an application for disabled people and family/ whānau beyond their service. To sponsor this grant, disabled people, family/ whānau needs to be eligible for DSS services. If disabled people, family/ whānau are eligible for services but not receiving them, an organisation can sponsor an application.

    Individuals will need to arrange for the organisation to complete and submit the sponsored application.

  • Applying as an organisation

    Disabled Support Services (DSS) provider organisations that hold a current Ministry of Health contract, or by Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) that are part of the DPO coalition can apply directly for the Consumer leadership grant.

    Organisational applicants must provide a Ministry of Health provider number and current DSS contract number when registering on the grants portal. If you are a DPO Coalition organisation we do not require these numbers from you.

    If your organisation does not hold a Ministry of Health-funded Disability Support Services (DSS) contract, but provides leadership and training opportunities to disabled people and whānau/family eligible for services, your organisation can be sponsored by an organisation that holds a Disability Support Services (DSS) contract.

    Your organisation will need to arrange the sponsorship. The sponsor will need to complete and submit the application on your behalf.

  • Applying as a collective

    We welcome applications from grassroots and family/whānau collectives. Before applying, please contact our grants team via email or phone so we can advise on grant portal registration and the application.

How much can be funded

  • Individuals

    Participants can be funded up to $5,000 (GST inclusive) per calendar year, either from one, or multiple applications. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure no participant exceeds the $5,000 cap. In exceptional circumstances, the panel may be able to exercise discretion in relation to the amount.

    Please note accessibility costs do not count towards an individual’s cap.

  • Organisations and collectives

    Organisations and collectives applying for grants can be funded up to $80,000 (GST inclusive) per calendar year, either from one, or multiple applications. In exceptional circumstances, the panel may be able to exercise discretion in relation to the amount.

    Please note accessibility costs do not count towards organisational and collective caps.

    Organisations sponsoring applications of behalf of disabled people, whānau/family or organisations without a Disability Support Services contract will not have the cost of these applications included as part of their yearly cap.

Grant priorities

The Ministry of Health has identified the learning priorities for the disability sector:

  • positive behaviour support
  • supporting people with Autism
  • supporting Whaia Te Ao Marama 2018 to 2022: The Māori Disability Action Plan
  • supporting people with high and complex needs
  • supporting whānau/families.

All applications will be reviewed on how they align with awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Leadership development and the Enabling Good Lives principles:

  • self-determination
  • beginning Early
  • person-centred
  • ordinary life outcomes
  • mainstream first
  • mana enhancing
  • relationship building.

The priorities are developed and agreed in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Applications that fall outside of these priority areas will be considered but will receive a lower rating.

Every funding round there is significant demand and oversubscription on available grant funding meaning the process is competitive for the decision-makers and not everyone will receive the grant they apply for.

Eligibility criteria

As well as complying with our terms and conditions, applications must also meet our eligibility criteria.

Organisations must be:

  • funded by the Ministry of Health to deliver DSS; or
  • a DPO that is part of the DPO coalition; or
  • sponsored by an organisation that is funded by the Ministry of Health to deliver DSS.

Individuals/participants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, and/or:

  • a disabled person eligible to receive Ministry of Health-funded disability services, or a whānau member of an eligible disabled person
  • a Ministry of Health-funded DSS IF recipient, IF host, or a person registered on system transformation roll out (Enabling Good Lives and Mid Central).

For more information

Get in touch


Ally Steenhuis, grants administrator: 09 301 3726

Emily Willetts, grants lead: 09 261 3425