Applications now open for Rangatahi-Led Funds!

28 Feb 2024

Media Release Announcements

The Otago Community Trust is excited to announce the launch of the Rangatahi-Led Fund across all regions -  Waitaki, South Otago, Central Otago and Ōtepoti Dunedin.

As part of the Trust's $10 million Tamariki & Rangatahi Strategy, this unique fund provides grants for youth-led projects that benefit young people, with recommendations made by rangatahi for rangatahi.

Alex Anderson from Balclutha said "I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of something that I know is helping other young people, because I can see the effects. Having something where rangatahi can go and actually run a whole project or event themselves and have that independence is just so, so cool." 

Rangatahi leaders from each region are at the helm of the fund, steering its purpose and criteria. They will collaborate with the Otago Community Trust on the final funding outcomes for grants up to $5,000 that will support innovative youth-led initiatives administered by eligible organisations.

“It’s awesome that OCT sees the value in this fund and the Rangatahi-led fund is happening again for a second round! Last year, we worked hard to create the backbone of the fund and funded some really cool projects. We are so excited to see what projects and events the Dunedin youth have this year!” said Arina Aizal from Ōtepoti Dunedin.

The Otago Community Trust invites rangatahi across Otago to apply for funding from this unique initiative. All ideas are welcome – last year, the fund's inaugural year, it supported projects ranging from youth networking spaces and multicultural intelligence development, to all-ages events, and gatherings uplifting queer and gender diverse rangatahi.

“Rangatahi have bold visions for shaping the future and it’s important we give them a seat at the table,” says Liz Harburg, Otago Community Trust Community Engagement Advisor. “I commend the mahi of these young leaders creating platforms for youth voices and leadership in Otago.”

Chirlene Vorster, one of the rangatahi from the Central Otago rōpū said "I'm really grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this group for a second year! Being part of something that you know is changing someone else's life and seeing the positive effects this group has had on our communities, has been my highlight by far”.

Some of the  Ōtepoti rōpū members have also gotten together to record a podcast series discussing the fund – how it works and what it’s for, as well as useful tips and tricks for putting applications together.

“I got involved in the fund because it is for the Waitaki region and provides funds for practical things that we are going to see happen in the area for youth by youth” said Ellen McAtamney from Oamaru.

Please spread the word widely among the rangatahi in your networks, organisations and communities. The more young people who know about this opportunity, the more we can nurture and empower their bold ideas. Find full details on how rangatahi can apply for the fund below:


How to Apply for the Fund  

Youth in Otago wishing to apply to the Rangatahi-Led Fund can apply online here or contact the group via email to ask any questions. Applications are now open.

The Rangatahi-Led Fund is part of a suite of funds under the Otago Community Trust’s Tamariki and Rangatahi Strategy, launched in March 2022. Under the strategy $10million was designated to support projects and initiatives that align with the strategy, and this includes up to $100,000 per annum being made available for youth-led projects. The fund is available across all of Otago in 2024.


For further information please contact:

Liz Harburg

Community Engagement Advisor

Mobile: 027 269 1584