The Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund was founded in 2019 through a $1 million endowment from the New Zealand Government in recognition of the men who were convicted for consensual homosexual activities pre-1986. The original idea for the Fund was put forward by the men whose convictions have or are being expunged through a scheme established in 2018. The Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 decriminalised sexual relations between men aged 16 and over but, prior to its passage, men having consensual sex with each other were liable to prosecution and a term of imprisonment. These men were the recipients of an apology issued by the Minister of Justice in 2017.

After the Fund was announced, it was agreed that it would be held and administered by The Rule Foundation, given the alignment with the Foundation’s kaupapa and focus.

The intention for the Fund is to support projects, activities and organisations to improve mental health outcomes for future generations of rainbow communities, particularly for young people. It was the hope of those who initially put forward the idea for the Fund that their suffering as a result of their convictions would be turned into positive outcomes for others within the rainbow community.



We take a holistic view of wellbeing. Applications that can demonstrate a link to wellbeing from activities that focus on raising awareness, participation, inclusion or accessibility are welcome.

Key criteria

Applications will be evaluated on meeting one or more of the below criteria:

  • Clearly explain the change or difference this funding will make to the mental health and wellbeing of the rainbow community, and the context or evidence that has informed the need for this funding
  • Promote community wellbeing with a focus on cultural, sporting or historical elements of our communities.
  • Develop capacity, for example training for staff, volunteers and members in rainbow community organisations; developing and disseminating mental health and wellbeing resources on what works, developing rainbow communities’ leadership and self reliance.
  • Include consideration of/directly address communities that are more vulnerable to mental distress including: Māori, Pacific peoples, migrants, refugees, bisexual, gender diverse and intersex people.
  • Proposals that include or promote collaboration between different groups, organisations, sectors or funders will be received favourably. We are also open to receiving an application submitted to another funder, and/or participating in shared reporting with other funders of the application.
  • Have a focus on youth.

Other requirements:

  • Demonstrates compliance with current (and potential future ongoing) Ministry of Health social distancing requirements related to COVID-19
  • Demonstrate that rainbow personnel/organisations are involved in a leadership, planning, implementation or partnership capacity.
  • Generally, grants will not be awarded to individuals, although groups are not required to have a formal organisation in order to apply.
  • Does not duplicate or otherwise fund activities that are primarily the domain of the Ministry of Health, or other government agencies, to fund or deliver
  • The activities being funded can be be delivered or completed within 12 months, or is part of a longer programme that has a clear plan for continuing the project past the 12 months of funding provided

2021 Dates:

  • Open 1 June 2021
  • Close 31 July 2021
  • Decisions and distribution in September 2021
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