Criteria for funding

The Heritage EQUIP programme has been suspended

We are no longer able to offer funding, however our website still contains a range of useful seismic upgrade project guidance


Previously, to be eligible for funding, applications needed to meet the following criteria:

The building must be privately owned 

The building must be privately owned. By privately owned, we mean individuals, companies and private trusts. We can't fund public entities or charitable organisations like churches and incorporated societies (other funding sources are available to these groups). The applicant must be the owner or part-owner of the heritage building, or give evidence that they have the authority to submit the application on the owner’s behalf.

The building must be earthquake-prone, as defined by the Building Act 2004

The building must be considered earthquake-prone by your council, under the Building Act. If you have no council notification that your building is earthquake-prone, you will need to provide an assessment of the building’s ‘earthquake resistance capacity’ from an engineer.

Eligible regional building owners can apply for a Professional Advice Grant to undertake this work if an assessment has not been completed (check the criteria below).

The building must have heritage value

We prioritise support to Category 1 and 2 historic places on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. If your building is listed on another category of the New Zealand Heritage List (as a wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna, wāhi tapu area or historic area), or scheduled on a district plan, it may still be considered for Heritage EQUIP funding. Your grant application for these buildings would need to include independent verification of the building’s heritage values.

In the case of either an Upgrade Works Grant or Professional Advice Grant application involving multiple buildings, at least one building must be a Category 1 or Category 2 historic place on the New Zealand Heritage List, located in regional New Zealand and within a medium or high seismic risk area.  

Additional incentives are available for multiple building projects. Please contact us to discuss your proposal.

New Zealand Heritage List – Heritage New Zealand website

Additional criteria for Professional Advice Grants:

Professional Advice Grants are available for buildings that meet the criteria outlined above. Applications must be for buildings that are:

  • Category 1 or 2 historic places on the New Zealand Heritage List
  • located in a regional area (i.e. outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)
  • located in a medium or high seismic risk area.

Check the seismic risk area of your building on MBIE’s Building Performance website

For Upgrade Works Grants only:

The planned work must strengthen the building to at least 34% NBS

The project must improve the earthquake resistant capacity of the building, or part of the building, so that it is no longer considered earthquake-prone. That means it must reach at least 34% of the New Building Standard (NBS). 

For most upgrade projects Heritage EQUIP funding will consider support for the extent of works that take a building to 34% NBS. We recognise that it is difficult to exactly meet 34% NBS, and practical and market requirements may mean that you want to strengthen your building to greater than 34% NBS. In these cases we will assess the level of funding that we could appropriately offer within the scope of the Heritage EQUIP fund.

We recognise the extra affordability pressure that exists for regional upgrade projects. For regional buildings in a medium or high seismic risk area, Heritage EQUIP may elect to fund the extent of works above 34% NBS for eligible buildings.

Funding for the extent of works above 34% NBS is on a case-by-case basis where the building faces greater risk of loss of heritage values than usual. Applicants who wish to apply for this extra funding should contact a Heritage EQUIP fund advisor to discuss before submitting an application.

You must get all consents before you apply

To apply for an Upgrade Works Grant, you must have all council consents and permissions in place – this includes having building consent.

In some instances we may accept applications where the design is ready to be considered for building consent. We will not consider seismic strengthening grant applications for work that has already started.