Frequently Asked Questions

What is NZCT’s purpose?

NZCT's main focus is to provide funds for amateur sport - around 80% of our grants are for sporting purposes. We also support other important causes, including rescue and lifesaving services, community groups, education and culture.

We generally distribute funds to the area where they were raised. We understand many charitable and sporting organisations operate in zones that are broader than a single territorial authority area, so we think it's appropriate that funds raised within a region are distributed throughout that region.

We also fund national organisations, like Special Olympics and the Secondary Schools Sports Council, that offer benefits to the wider community.

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Can my organisation apply for an NZCT grant?

If we have gaming machines generating funds in your community, then we are likely to have funds available for distribution. See if there is an NZCT venue in your area.

All applicant organisations must be registered legal entities, i.e. registered under the Charities Act, Charitable Trust Act or Incorporated Societies Act or, in some circumstances, not-for-profit organisations registered under the Companies Act.

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What types of groups receive NZCT funding?

A minimum of 80% of NZCT's grants are distributed to support amateur sport. The balance is distributed among a range of charitable causes in the areas of health, education, arts, culture, heritage and the environment.

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What if there are no NZCT venues in my area?

NZCT funds are generally returned to the areas from which they were raised. If there are no NZCT gaming rooms in your local council area, it is unlikely that we will be able to support your application. A list of gaming societies that do operate in your area can be found on the Department of Internal Affairs website.

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What if I need help submitting my online grant application?

If you need help submitting an online application, call the NZCT grants team on 0800 44 69 28 between 8am and 5pm on weekdays and we'll be able to help you through the process.

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How often are NZCT’s grants criteria reviewed?

The Gambling Act 2003 requires us to annually review the criteria, methods, systems and policies we use for distributing our net proceeds. The February 2016 review by trustees resulted in one change, which was that generally a single organisation will receive no more than 10% of a region's total projected annual funds for distribution in any year.

To find out more about our criteria for specific grant purposes, visit the grants criteria page and click on the links in the left-hand navigation.

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Can we use a professional fundraiser?

A professional fundraiser may be used by your organisation, but they must be paid a flat fee or hourly rate which is paid irrespective of the outcome of your grant application. If you have another remuneration arrangement with your fundraiser you must disclose this to us. You must not use any portion of grant funding received to pay a commission or success fee to the fundraiser. All (100%) of any grant you receive must be used for the purpose authorised by NZCT.

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When should applications be submitted?

Applications close at midday on the 15th of each month. We can't approve applications for expenses that have been paid for, or services that have been delivered, before an application has been approved. You need to allow enough time for us to process, consider and make a final decision about your application before you spend any funds relating to it.

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Who considers my application?

NZCT has a Net Proceeds Committee (NPC). The NPC is made up of a minimum of any three of NZCT's trustees. The NPC meets monthly, except there is no meeting in January (see consider recommended applications and to make grant decisions. NZCT's Chief Executive and Grants Manager are not trustees, nor members of the NPC, so they are completely independent of the grants decision process.

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What does NZCT take into consideration when making grants?

We prefer not to fund an organisation's standard operating costs, like rent or power bills. Grant applications should only be made for activities or buying items that would not be possible without additional grant funding.

Our NPC will consider the outcomes expected from the grant funding and will want to know how these outcomes are measured. It will also want to know if the grant is going towards your organisation's main priorities - we will generally be more inclined to fund 'must haves' rather than 'nice to haves'.

In considering your application, we look at the other activities your organisation is doing to meet its financial targets. We also look at how your organisation is making a positive difference in your local community.

The Gambling Act prohibits the people who work at, or have a significant interest in, our gaming venues from being involved in the grant applications we process, for example, as an executive member of the applicant organisation who has had hands-on involvement in the grant application. To comply with the Act, NZCT checks and automatically declines all grant applications that suggest a link between venues and applicants.

All requests must be for future spending, not for expenditure already incurred, i.e. you must confirm your grant application has been approved before spending any funds, otherwise they will be deemed to be retrospective and will have to be refunded.

We will not fund things that have already been funded by another source.

Grants will not be made to individuals, to closed groups where membership is discretionary or for private (rather than public) purposes.

Funds must be spent specifically for the purpose(s) approved by NZCT. These purposes must be of direct and immediate benefit to your organisation.

The grant purposes must comply with the Gambling Act 2003, Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Regulations 2004 and NZCT's licence conditions.

We do not fund fundraisers.

We do not fund activities that support political candidates or parties.

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What do you mean by 'benefits' and 'outcomes'?

In the benefits and outcomes section we are looking for you to detail the main positive changes that you expect for your organisation as a result of NZCT funding. This could be, for example, an increase in playing numbers of x%, an increase in coaching hours of y per week, or improved facilities that can now be used by a range of additional users. Try to be as specific as you can.

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What happens to my application?

Applications are checked by an NZCT grants officer for completeness and to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements, NZCT's licence conditions and grants criteria. If any information is missing, they will contact you. To ensure your application is complete in time for the deadline of the 15th of the month, we recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

A funding recommendation is developed for each application and a schedule of all applications from a region is forwarded to the appropriate NZCT Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for discussion and review. Generally, the RACs meet within the first 10 days of each month, except January. Their recommendations are forwarded to NZCT's NPC for consideration and final approval.

Grant decisions will be available online through our Grants Portal within three to five days of an NPC meeting date. Applicants are advised of the NPC's decision by email shortly after the NPC meeting.

For an application to be considered at one of these meetings, it must be submitted and complete before the 15th of the previous month. For example, to be considered at the 23 December meeting, an application needs to be submitted by 15 November.

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How long will it take for a decision?

Provided your application contains all the information we need, applications received and complete by the 15th of each month will be discussed at the following month's Net Proceeds Committee (NPC) meeting towards the end of that month.

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How will we know if our application has been successful?

You can check the status of your grant application through our online Grants Portal. Grant decisions will be published on the Portal within three to five days after the relevant Net Proceeds Committee meeting and you will receive an email with the decision. If your grant is approved, you will also receive a confirmation email once the funds have been deposited into your back account. If your grant is declined, we will tell you why.

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Do we have to spend the money with the supplier whose quotes were used in the application?

Generally yes, unless there is a good reason why this was not possible. If you would like to use a different supplier, send us a new quote and a message explaining the change before you spend any of your grant funds.

If we are funding a role within your organisation and the person in that role changes, let us know. We will need a signed copy of the new person's employment agreement or a quote before we can transfer the grant funds.

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How is payment made?

Approved grants will be paid by direct credit to your organisation's nominated bank account.

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At what point can we buy our items?

Legislation requires that NZCT doesn't make a grant to reimburse money already spent by a grant applicant. That means you must wait until your grant application has been approved before paying for goods or services. You can't get around this by asking a third party to pay the costs up front on the promise of reimbursement from grant funds at a later time. We will still consider the payment has been made and will not be eligible for grant funding.

If we find your grant has been used to pay for goods and services, including deposits on travel or accommodation bookings, bought before your grant was approved, we will ask for the funds to be returned to us.

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What do we need to do if our grant is approved?

NZCT has a legal obligation to check the grant funds we've distributed have been used for the purpose for which the funds were granted. We need all grant recipients to send us copies of appropriate documents that show us how and when their grant money was spent. We call this our 'accountability' documentation.

We would appreciate it if you would reconcile your accountability documentation before you send it to us. If there is a discrepancy between the amount charged and the amount paid, you'll need to provide an explanation and documentation to support this.

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Do we need to account for funds received?

All NZCT grants must be accounted for within 90 days of receiving the funds. If you need longer, call our accountability team on 0800 44 69 28 to discuss your options.

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What is an ‘authorised purpose’?

'Authorised purpose' is the purpose, such as sports uniforms or a coach's salary, which we've agreed to fund and the grant money must be used for only that purpose. If the money is spent on other things, we will ask for a refund. Your grant approval letter will detail the specific items we have agreed to fund. Ensure your grant is used to buy only these items.

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Can we amend the authorised purpose?

We'll consider changing an agreed 'authorised purpose' only in exceptional circumstances. Send us a written request for such a change before you spend any of your grant money.

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What are appropriate payment types?

All grant money must be spent by cheque, credit card or electronic transfer through your organisation's bank account. We can't accept receipts for cash payments.

Any costs incurred or payments made before your grant was approved, including any payment made by a third party on behalf of your organisation, can't be funded after the fact. We won't accept any accountability documents that show retrospective dates. You'll be asked to refund these grant funds.

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Who are appropriate payees?

If a member of your organisation pays for the goods or services for which NZCT funding has been approved, and then they seek reimbursement, this is classed as a ‘third party’ payment. We prefer you don’t use a third party to pay the invoices for your grant items. However, we understand that there are times when you have no option.

In this case, we require:
• a tax invoice
• the third party’s bank statement showing that he/she has made the initial payment
• the organisation’s bank statement showing the reimbursement to the third party.


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What is appropriate documentation?

Tax invoices and bank statements are appropriate accountability documents, but quotes, receipts, pro forma invoices, ledger reports and Excel spreadsheets are not. When accounting for your grant, the following documentation is required.

• For goods or services (e.g. sports uniforms, accommodation), we need to see tax invoices and bank statements showing all or full payment(s) of the invoice you are claiming.
• For salaries, we fund the gross amount as per the employment agreement submitted with your grant application. Even if you use a payroll company (e.g. Datacom or I Payroll) to administer your salaries, we require an IRD Schedule (IR345 and IR348), a bank statement showing all wages paid each month and a bank statement showing the PAYE paid. If the wages are paid in a bulk amount, we will require copies of the batch list making up the bulk amount, so we can see the funded employee’s payment.

If you are claiming only part of any given month, you must give written clarification of this, but still provide a list of all wages paid, so we can reconcile them against the gross amount in the IRD return.

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If our grant is to pay a salary and the employee leaves, can we spend the grant money on the new employee’s salary?

Generally, yes. However, you must let us know about this change so we can approve it. Just send us written confirmation of the change of employee and a copy of the new signed employment agreement and we'll confirm the change is okay from our end. You'll need to supply details, such when the original employee finished and when the new one started in the role.

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What accountability documentation do we have to provide if our grant is for contractors’ fees?

We will need to see a copy of the contractors’ invoices to the grant recipient. If the contractor or supplier is GST registered, which they must be if their annual turnover exceeds $60,000, we expect these invoices will contain, at a minimum:

• the words ‘tax invoice’ in a prominent place
• the name, address, phone number and GST number of the supplier (the contractor)
• the name and address of the customer (the grant recipient)
• the date of issue
• a description of the goods and services and their volume (e.g. hours of labour, number of items), and the start and finish dates, if applicable
• the GST-exclusive price, the amount of GST charged and the GST-inclusive price.

If the contractor or supplier isn’t GST registered, we need equivalent documentation as above, except including the word 'invoice' instead of 'tax invoice' and stating the non-GST price.

A supplier who is not registered for GST mustn’t charge GST.

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What about funding given to schools?

When a school receives funding from NZCT and they use an outside provider to pay their accounts (e.g. Education Services), we need copies of their bank statements showing they have on-paid the funds to the supplier.

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Can we use suppliers who are not quoted in our application?

Generally yes, but you must contact us to advise of this change and the reason why it's necessary before spending the grant funds. The items you want to buy must be the same as those specified in your grant application.

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What do we do if the purchase price is less than the amount funded?

You must return the difference to us. Likewise, you must return any unspent funds. You can do this by depositing the excess funds into our bank account or by sending a cheque to NZCT, PO Box 10857, Wellington 6143. If you need our bank account details, call us on 0800 44 69 28, option 3.

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Can we spend any remaining funds on other items?

Any unspent funds must be returned to NZCT. Your grant has been approved on the understanding that the funds will be spent only on the items detailed in your grant approval letter. If you want to buy other things, you'll need to send us a new grant application for them.

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When is a refund needed?

We will ask you for a refund if your grant funds have been spent on:

  • items that haven't been specifically authorised (refer to your grant approval letter to see which items have been approved)
  • retrospective payments (i.e. your grant funds have been used to pay for goods or services that were bought before your grant was approved) 
  • items that have been funded by another trust (we call this double dipping - where applicants apply to more than one trust for the same items)
  • items where the purchase price is less than the amount granted.

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What is a retrospective payment

A retrospective payment is where your grant funds have been used to pay for goods or services that were bought before your grant was approved. We don't fund retrospectively. Any funds granted for items that have already been paid for will have to be refunded.

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Do I claim the GST-inclusive or GST-exclusive amount of my invoices?

If your organisation is GST registered, you can claim the GST-exclusive amount of the invoice. If your organisation is not GST registered, you should claim the GST-inclusive amount of the invoice.

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How do I make a complaint?

Complaints about the grants process or a particular application must be made in writing. They should be addressed to the Chief Executive, NZCT, PO Box 10857, The Terrace, Wellington 6143.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and respond to your complaint within 10 working days. NZCT's Chief Executive is not involved in the grants decision-making process.

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How can we acknowledge NZCT's support?

We love hearing about the outcomes achieved as a result of our funding. If you would like to acknowledge our help, visit the How to say thanks for our support page of our website.

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Contact details

Postal address

New Zealand Community Trust
P O Box 10 857
The Terrace
Wellington 6143



0800 44 69 28
04 473 06 06


04 473 0007