The Peter Rule Fund

The Peter Rule Fund seeks to advance the health, wellbeing and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) New Zealanders. We give funds for projects and activities that support LGBTI people, and for education and research on LGBTI issues.

The Peter Rule Fund contributes grants of up to $5000 (or more in exceptional circumstances) to projects, activities and organisations within the following criteria: 

  • align with the Fund’s purpose and priorities
  • a transparent and obvious benefit to the LGBTI community in Aotearoa
  • the ability of the applicant to deliver the proposed project
  • the availability of funds and alternative funding sources

Please note that the Foundation does not fund individuals or commercial activities; or activities that are considered operational or business as usual. While we don’t necessarily require an organisation to be a legal entity (i.e. an incorporated society or charitable trust), we do require that the bank account donations are paid to are in the name of the organisation, and not an individual. Larger organisations may also act as fund holders for smaller initiatives.

If you are unsure, please contact us and one of our Trustees will be in touch.

Amounts Awarded

$250 – $2,000

Up to 10 amounts are allocated per year.

A decision is usually made within 4 weeks.

$2,000 – $5,000

5 – 6 allocations of this size are generally made per year.

These requests are subject to a higher level of scrutiny, and will often require applicants to converse with a Rule Foundation trustee. Decisions are usually made within 1-2 months.


Allocations over $5,000 are only awarded after the applicant has worked alongside a Rule Foundation trustee. Multi-year allocations may be available for projects that demonstrate a long term or wide reaching benefit for LGBTI in New Zealand.

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Recent recipients of grants from The Peter Rule Fund

The Peter Rule Fund is named for Peter Rule. Born in Gisborne in 1931, Peter was passionate about flying. He co-piloted a flight from England to NZ over two months in his early 20s, and joined the Air Force in 1954. Peter spent two summers on assignment in Antarctica, where he survived a much-publicised plane crash onto the ice in whiteout conditions and was rescued after several days holed up in an igloo. In the 1960s Peter was seconded to the United Nations, and spent some years as an observer in Korea and Syria, rising in rank to Squadron Leader. He was awarded an MBE in the 1972 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

In the mid-70s, Peter was told that intelligence services had observed him fraternising too closely with a man in Syria. Typical of the era, his Air Force and likely Foreign Affairs prospects were cut short. He was devastated.

Peter’s friends in New Zealand’s arts community encouraged him into arts administration. He managed the Central Regional Arts Council from 1977 to 1987, where he actively promoted the fledgling crafts (such as pottery, weaving, and carving).  Peter was an early supporter of the renaissance of Māori arts through the 1970s. A career highlight was his curation of the Kahurangi exhibition in Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympic Games.

Peter committed suicide in 1987, aged 56, having suffered depression for many years. In his will he left the balance of his estate to be used for the benefit of gay people. The sale of Korean ceramics he had collected, and that were displayed at the Auckland Museum, provided the basis for The Peter Rule Fund’s capital fund.

In 2019, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) remembered Peter with a new Diversity and Inclusion Award being named after him. The Squadron Leader Peter Rule Memorial Trophy was added as a category to the NZDF’s Person of the Year Awards. The NZDF also created an exhibition about Peter’s life and military career, which can be viewed here.

What is the difference between The Peter Rule Fund and the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund?

The Peter Rule Fund is named for Peter Rule, whose will led to the establishment of the Rule Foundation in 2008. The Peter Rule Fund is open year round, and accepts applications for amounts up to $5,000. The Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund (RWLF) was established as part of reparations for those convicted prior to homosexual law reform. The RWLF has one round per year, generally June/July, and accepts applications from $5,000 – $20,000.

Do you fund research projects? 

Research has been funded by The Peter Rule Fund before and we are open to doing so again. It will be important for applicants to demonstrate that the purpose and outcomes of the research will be of direct benefit to the Rainbow community and has ideally been requested by, or co-designed with a Rainbow community organisation.

Do you fund projects or organisations based outside of New Zealand?

The Peter Rule Fund does not fund international applications.

Do you fund flights and accommodation for individuals (i.e. guest speakers)?

Applications for flights and accommodation will be considered by The Peter Rule Fund as long as they are within the standard amounts that the Fund usually considers (up to $5,000) and that they are for an appropriate purpose (i.e. specifically related to a rainbow event, conference etc).

Do you fund printing costs and/or signage (and other not so environmentally sustainable requests)?

Funding for printing costs and/or signage will be considered by The Peter Rule Fund, but applicants should be prepared to demonstrate awareness of the environmental impact of their project and ideally would outline in their application efforts they will take to mitigate or reduce any such impacts.

Is my organisation/project appropriate for the Fund? (e.g. a project or an organisation that relates to sex, alcohol, partying etc)

The Peter Rule Fund welcomes applications from a broad range of organisations and projects. However, applicants need to demonstrate in their application how the project or work aligns with the purpose and priorities of the Fund.

Do you fund applications with a non-Rainbow focus?

The Peter Rule Fund will only fund applications which align to its purpose and priorities – so non-rainbow focused applications will not be funded.

Do you fund operating (or other regular) costs?

Generally no, however small, or new groups that can prove a need for a small amount of operational funding that is difficult to source elsewhere, may apply.

How much funding can I apply for?

The Peter Rule Fund contributes grants of up to $5,000. Only in exceptional circumstances would an application be funded over this amount. Please contact us and talk with a Trustee if you intend on applying for more than $5,000.

How often can I apply?

Organisations can apply as often as they like – however previous grants made to organisations, and the purpose of those grants, will be taken into account when considering further grants.