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Our next closing date is Wednesday 7 December 2022. Please apply for funding no more 3 months in advance of the event or project taking place.

Annual review of funding criteria

Under section 109 of the Gambling Act the Board of Trustees has recently reviewed its approved authorised purpose statement issued by the Department of Internal Affairs and has made no changes as a result of the review.

The funding criteria of the Pelorus Trust has been shaped by the following factors:

The Pelorus Trust Deed of Trust. Pelorus Trust has been established to promote and develop amateur sport in New Zealand. Additionally, as a secondary objective, the Trust may assist and support charitable purposes;

The Gambling Act 2003. The Pelorus Trust, as an operator of gaming machines, is licensed by the Department of Internal Affairs who administer the Gambling Act. The Act allows the Pelorus Trust to raise funds for distribution to authorised purposes as well as applying funds to its own community projects. The Department places many rules and restrictions on how the funds are to be applied for, distributed, and used by recipients.

Many of these key rules are included in the notes that are attached to the grant application form. These notes should be read first, in conjunction with the funding criteria in this section before making an application.

The Gambling Act defines an authorised purpose as any of the following:

  • A charitable purpose;
  • A non-commercial purpose that is beneficial to the whole or a section of the community;
  • Promoting, controlling, and conducting race meetings under the Racing Act 2003, including the payment of stakes*.

The Pelorus Trust Authorised Purpose Statement

Because this is a very broad definition the trustees have attempted to define the areas of funding that the Trust will concentrate on, within the following statement. Although the Trust is not exclusively bound to fund within these parameters, it should be noted by applicants as a guide. This is a public statement displayed on our gaming licence at our venues:

The Pelorus Trust may distribute funds through charitable, sporting or other community based organisations. Funds may be distributed to, but not limited to, any cultural, philanthropic, charitable, sporting, educational or any other purpose that benefits the community or section of it.

Grants shall benefit only the amateur sport where the aim shall be to assist participants to play their sport, improve their skills and generally participate in a healthy recreational activity. Grants may benefit the sport of racing through the provision of facilities and grounds maintenance only. No grants shall benefit professional sportspersons to play their sport or racing owners, trainers or jockeys*.

Grants to charitable and not-for-profit community groups shall generally be for the purposes of health, welfare and the relief of poverty, for the benefits of the arts, culture or kapa haka, or for community assistance groups such as rescue helicopters.

Grants to schools or other educational institutes shall be for the provision of equipment or services that foster continuous learning and youth development.

The Pelorus Trust may apply funds to any of the purposes outlined above that are consistent with the terms of their Deed of Trust.

Examples may include, but not limited to, the purchase of land and the development and maintenance of sporting or other facilities that benefit the community; the establishment of academic or sporting scholarships for young persons that are fair, open and equitably assessed; or, the payment of capitation or other levies to any not-for-profit national body or association.

*Please note that as of September 2009 Pelorus Trust has suspended the acceptance of application for Race Stakes. 

The following additional criteria will be considered by the trustees:

  • Grants will be made to recipients that are located in the general geographic area from which the funds were raised. This means, for example, that the Trust is unlikely to approve an application from organisations based in an area where the Trust has no gaming venues. Please see our venue list for details.
  • The "fit" of the applicant's project or funding requirements to that of the Pelorus Trust. This includes our Trust Deed and approved authorised purpose statement.
  • The percentage contribution of the applicant's own fundraising efforts.
  • The potential community benefit of the funding.
  • Whether the applicant has received funding from the Trust or elsewhere, previously.
  • Whether the applicant has sought funding from other gaming trusts for the same purpose at the same time.
  • The structure, legal status and longevity of the applicant.
  • The spread of funding as required by the Trust Deed.
  • The availability of funds for distribution.
  • The relative merits of competing applications received and assessed in the same funding round for the available funds set aside for distribution.

Unfettered Discretion

There is a common misconception that the funds generated by gaming machines 'belong' to the community. This is not true. Our gaming machines are owned by the Trust, and profit from those machines belongs to the Trust. The Trust must use the profits in a way that will benefit the community and meet the definition of authorised purpose. The Trustees have an unfettered discretion regarding how this will occur. This means that even if your organisation's application meets all the criteria and there are funds available, the Trust is not obliged to grant you funds if it decides not to. The concept of unfettered discretion is an important one. It preserves the right of Trustees to make independent decisions regarding the use of their Trust fund.

Funding Clarification, Funding Priorities & Ineligible Funding Requests


As more than two thirds of applications received by the Trust are from sporting clubs, teams and organisations; the Trust considers it is worthwhile commenting on purposes commonly applied for. 


We will not fund fees or subscriptions levied by clubs on teams or individuals within the club. The Trust may still fund club (not team) affiliation or capitation fees to a regional or national sports body upon receipt of an appropriate quote/invoice; however you should note that funding affiliation fees is not a high priority for the Trust, and it is unlikely that a request will be successful.


We may fund playing uniforms (excluding footwear) for sports teams or clubs. We may fund a wet weather training shell jacket or tracksuit. We will not fund any casual team gear such as polo shirts, t-shirts, beanies, fleece jackets or dress uniforms, unless the polo or t-shirts are the playing uniform. 


This means teams that form to play sports such as touch rugby, dragon boating, indoor volleyball, netball or cricket, or similar 'social' sports. These teams are usually not incorporated societies and they may or may not be affiliated to a national association. Such teams may apply to the Trust for funding, however any such applications will not be granted a high priority by the Trustees, and again, it is unlikely you will be successful. The Trust may consider an overall funding request that may benefit an event or module (touch rugby) if made by a reputable association.


The Trust may fund a motorsport or car-club for costs associated with running an event, for example, safety marshals or time-keepers. The Trust will not fund an individual or racing team for racing costs such as tyres, fuel, or protective gear.


We cannot grant funds to professional sports people or professional teams or clubs playing in a professional or semi-professional league or competition. However a funding request where a professional sportsperson provides coaching or training to amateur players or clubs may be considered.


We do not fund trips that are social in nature. This includes end of year/season 'away' trips for rugby or other sports teams.


We do not fund the cost of food or beverage. The exception to this is funding Christmas parties or similar functions for elderly or special needs children.


We do not fund any league or competition that is hotel based. Inter hotel darts/pool/fishing or bowls tournaments are ineligible for funding.


We will consider applications to fund trophies, ribbons or other awards that recognise merit or success. We may fund reasonable non-cash prizes for open access sporting or community events. Although the term 'reasonable' is subjective the Trust will consider the scale of the event as a whole when considering appropriate prize levels. 


Salaries, wages, honoraria, withholding tax, koha, professional fees are not an authorised purpose for the Trust. We would much prefer applications to concentrate on other priorities such as equipment, chattels, tangible items, programme delivery or improvement or maintenance of facilities.


The Trust will not fund the reimbursement of electricity, gas, telephone or other utility costs for a club or community organisation. We may consider funding the cost of renting or leasing premises.


The Trust may fund transport costs for teams or organisations to travel within NZ for tournaments or similar reasons. Applications for vehicle hire, flights, ferries etc will all be considered if accompanied by competitive quotes. However, petrol costs or mileage will not be funded.


The trust does not fund any overseas travel costs.


The Trust is not permitted to grant funds to any individual, such as a young tennis player needing funds to travel to compete in a tournament. We may fund that player's club for travel assistance on his/her behalf. By applying through a club, or local/national association the necessary audit trail and independent scrutiny is provided.



The Trust cannot fund educational purposes that would normally be funded by the Ministry of Education, such as teachers' salaries, and general school running costs.


The Trust may fund an academic or sporting scholarship that may be openly contested, assessed against established criteria, and independently adjudicated and awarded. The Trust will not fund the payment of academic fees or course costs that may enhance the career or educational development of any individual. 

General Guidelines


The Trust does not fund family, school or sports club reunions. 

Direct Community Benefit 

The Trust may only grant funds that accrue a direct and immediate community benefit. This means we cannot fund prizes for a lottery that will raise funds for a charity (e.g., CANTEEN). However, we can grant funds directly to the charity for teenage cancer sufferers.


We cannot fund any activity or organisation that is a lobby group or seeks to use funds to change government or any other institutional policy.


As previously mentioned (Educational Purposes) the Trust is unlikely to fund any purpose that is already funded by central or local government Vote money, or in the opinion of the Trust, should be funded by the central or local government. This usually includes funding of a health or welfare nature, and would normally be funded by ACC, Dept of Health, WINZ or other Ministries. 


We are unable to fund trusts or other similar organisations who specialise in providing employment opportunities for individuals. Funding training schemes for people that would enable them to seek employment are also ineligible

If you are unsure whether your intended application meets all of the criteria, you may contact us by email (see contact page for details).

Consideration Process of Applications

  1. Every applicant must completed the online application form on our website.
  2. All requested information and supporting documentation, such as the applicant's bank account, 2 competitive quotes (for goods or services), and any other relevant information the applicant considers will strengthen or, importantly, explain why they need funding must be included. If you are unable to provide two quotes, you must explain the reasons why in writing. For example, you are requesting funds for airfares to a destination which only one airline provides a service to.
  3. The application must be lodged at the Trust offices by midnight on the closing day. All applications MUST have photo ID (passport, drivers licence or plus 18 card) this must be the same as the two "key persons" named on the application.
  4. All applications must be submitted to Pelorus Trust before midnight on the closing date.
  5. Only once an application is submitted will it be considered by the Trust. Each application will be treated on it merits. The trustees may make any enquiries as necessary so as to be in a position to fairly consider each application.
  6. The trustees have an unfettered discretion to approve or decline any application.
  7. Trust meetings are usually held twice monthly. Closing dates are displayed on the home page of our website. Every applicant considered by the trustees will be notified (by email) of the outcome of the application after the meeting.
  8. Successful recipients will be advised by email of the conditions which are attached to receiving Trust funds.  The approved amount will be direct credited in to your nominated bank account.
  9. All recipients should note that they may be audited by the Trust and/or an Inspector of Gaming from the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure that funds are expended on the applicant's nominated purpose.

Unsuccessful Applications

In the event that your application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email from the Trust outlining the reasons why the Trustees declined your application. This may be due to your organisation or purpose not meeting legislative or Trust requirements, insufficient funds being available in your area, or the likelihood of you receiving funding from other sources.

If you wish to review this decision you may write to the Chief Executive, Pelorus Trust PO Box 39-445, Lower Hutt, 5045. Your letter of Appeal must be lodged with the Trust within 1 calendar month of the date of the decline letter, and should outline the reasons for your appeal, and append any supporting information. The Trustees will consider your request for a review at their next scheduled Trust meeting and you will receive a response within 5 working days of that meeting.

Application closing dates
  • Wednesday 7 December 2022
  • Monday 9 January 2023
  • Friday 3 February 2023
  • Friday 17 February 2023
  • Friday 3 March 2023
  • Friday 17 March 2023

Pelorus Trust has a strict closing date policy.

Any late or incomplete applications will be processed for the next meeting.
Grant meetings are normally held within 10 days after the closing date.