Read the budget guidelines

Refer to the following budget guidelines when creating your detailed project budget. Contact Creative New Zealand for further information.

Administration and overhead costs

Creative New Zealand grants, eg Arts Grants, can contribute to administration and overhead costs only for the duration of the project. Ongoing administration and infrastructure costs cannot be funded through Arts Grants. Applicants should provide a breakdown of costs for the period of the project, eg electricity, insurance, legal advice, license fees, office supplies, printing, rent, stationery, telephone and postage.

Allowances (per diems)

Allowances may be paid for travel, accommodation and touring. An allowance is a fixed amount paid in addition to wages or salaries, to compensate for expenses that cannot be claimed back.

Amount requested

The amount you are requesting from Creative New Zealand in your detailed project budget must be the same as the amount requested in your application form. Your detailed project budget needs to show:

  • which part or parts of the proposed project you are seeking Creative New Zealand funding for,
  • what will be funded from other sources, eg you may be buying equipment out of your own funds, while seeking funding towards wages and production costs.

It is unusual for Creative New Zealand to fund the full cost of a project. It is important that you show all sources of revenue, including earned revenue, your own financial contribution and in-kind support.

Arts Grants remuneration guidance

The following guidance applies to Arts Grants and the other opportunities offered within Arts Grants i.e. Tup Lang Choreographic Award, Todd New Writers' Bursary, Toi Ake, Toi Tipu Toi Rea and Tohunga Tukunga.

Creative New Zealand is committed to supporting sustainable careers in the arts sector. We consider that a sustainable career is a pathway of paid work over the course of an individual’s working life that enables them to earn a viable living.

As part of the Arts Grants application process, we require artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations to provide detail of wages, salaries, fees and stipends in funding application budgets and we expect applications to include within their budgets fair remuneration levels for artists and arts practitioners.

  • At a minimum, we advise that applications include pay rates of at least $25 per hour for artists and arts practitioners. This can also be calculated as a percentage of fulltime work, for instance: Fulltime i.e. 1.0 (FTE) for one week = 37.5 hours x $25 per hour = $937.50 per week.

  • ‘Fair remuneration’ means pay rates for more experienced artists and arts practitioners should:
    • be at a level above or well above the minimum
    • be in line with their relative skills and experience
    • recognise the duration of the project and other work-related factors (i.e., the ‘contract’ nature of the work).

Composers’ fees

A standard scale of fees compiled by the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) can be downloaded from Budgets for applications for music compositions can be based on the CANZ scale or show a stipend.


Separate contingency lines should only be included where you are unable to predict actual costs. If you include a contingency then you must explain in the budget description what it will cover and why you are unable to predict the actual costs. Contingencies should not exceed 5% for the term of your budget.

Earned revenue for the project

Provide a breakdown showing how you have worked out your earned revenue figures. Earned revenue can include:

  • admission fees
  • box office takings
  • sales of publications or merchandise
  • subscription fees
  • contract or artist fees
  • estimated sales for the first 12 months, eg of recordings, books or artworks and fees from workshops or conferences.

You must include the seating capacity of the venue (house size) and your projected box office percentage, eg a performance in a 200 seat venue with a projected box office of 40% equates to 80 people purchasing tickets to each performance. As part of the information required for projected box office, your budget description should include the ticket prices for the performance or presentation.


Your application will be ineligible if:

  • you request funding towards items that are not eligible for Creative New Zealand support (for example, capital items) OR
  • your project budget is not viable once the requested ineligible costs are removed OR
  • your budget is incomplete.

Goods and services tax (GST)

If the person or organisation the grant will be paid to (the payee) is registered for GST do not include GST in your budget figures. We will add GST to the grant amount. 

If the payee is not registered for GST include GST in your budget figures.

Find out before you apply whether you need to be registered to pay GST. Visit and refer to Inland Revenue’s GST guide IR375, or consult a financial adviser.

Marketing and promotion costs

Give a breakdown of costs for advertising, printed material, eg posters, exhibition catalogues, pamphlets and programmes, photography, promotional videos, marketing and audience-development initiatives. We expect that marketing costs will not exceed 25% of earned revenue for the project.

Per seat subsidies

If you are applying for support to present concerts, performances, remounts or tours, an estimate of audience numbers should be included, along with projected box office income. These figures can be used to estimate the Creative New Zealand subsidy per seat, based on the amount you are requesting.

To calculate the per seat subsidy you need to divide the total amount you are requesting from Creative New Zealand by the projected audience numbers, eg a $7,500 grant for a projected audience of 500 = a per seat subsidy of $15). If you are unsure, contact an arts adviser for advice.

Production, exhibition, event and material costs

Give a breakdown of costs for:

  • mounting a production, eg costumes, equipment hire, travel, freight, lighting and sound, rehearsal space hire, royalties, set design and construction and ticketing costs
  • mounting an exhibition
  • a conference, wānanga, seminar or workshop, eg insurance, speaker fees, venue or equipment hire, and launch costs, materials, touring, travel and freight commissions and royalties
  • production or publishing, eg recording, manufacturing CDs, publishing books or journals.

Support from other sources

Possible other sources of funding include:

  • cash support from other government agencies, grants, trusts or foundations,
  • your own contribution, eg cash, or in-kind goods and services,
  • in-kind support that offsets the project’s total costs, eg if the actual cost of your venue hire is $500 and you are getting a $100 discount on this you can demonstrate this as in-kind support; it is not cash support but it does reduce your costs. Ensure that you record the full cost in expenses ($500) and record the discount as in-kind income ($100). This will make the net cost for the venue $400,
  • donations or discounts on services, materials or products. The value of this support should be reflected in your budget under both project costs (the undiscounted dollar value of the service, product or materials) and project revenue (the value of the discount on the service, product or materials).

Total Cost

Your detailed project budget must show the total cost of the project, not just the part for which you are requesting Creative New Zealand funding. Knowing the total cost helps us to understand the difference a grant will make.

Show how you have calculated the figures in your budget by providing an itemised breakdown for all items; not just totals. Where possible, get quotes and base any estimates on actual costs or figures from similar projects.

Wages, salaries and stipends

State whether wages are for full-time or part-time work. If part-time, show the hours they are based on. Check that your pay rates do not fall below the minimum wage for employees aged 16 years and over. For more information refer to the website of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Creative New Zealand suggests rates of between $2,500 a month and $6,000 a month for artists’ full-time wages, salaries and stipends. If you are applying to Arts Grants refer to the specific Arts Grant remuneration guidance.

Budgets for writing and illustrating grants need only show a stipend, as per the guidelines above.

If you are employing people (as opposed to contracting them) you must pay them holiday pay. You may also have other obligations as an employer that will affect your budget.

The budget lines must clearly relate to the information you have provided in your application eg wages for the separate stages of the project (such as rehearsal and subsequent production or recording) may need to be identified if different rates are to be applied.