Whakahiko Ōtaki – Energise Ōtaki Fund

From the sun to the fund to … your project?

With money raised from Aotearoa’s FIRST community-owned solar farm, Energise Ōtaki wants to help you to help energise Ōtaki.


The Whakahiko Ōtaki–Energise Ōtaki Fund is a new grant to boost community-initiated ‘energy’ projects

Funded projects will help Ōtaki thrive: by supporting our people; reducing our climate emissions and energy consumption; turning ‘waste’ into energy; sparking energy-related action and awareness       — any and all of these.

We are not just talking ‘tech’. We are looking for creative, educational, fun projects; electric, practical and science-sourced ones too.

Does the brief sound broad? It is! Convince us that your great idea will help energise Ōtaki.




WRITTEN applications are now due by 5pm, Sunday, 17th October. VERBAL applications are also welcomed (see timetable below).

Want to talk about your application?

email whakahiko.otaki@gmail.com 


Who decides?

Application choices will be made by a committee made up of Leigh Ramsey and Dave Rumsey of Energise Ōtaki, Tanira Cooper of Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki, KCDC Councillor James Cootes and Horiana Irwin-Easthope from Wellington Community Trust

How many can win?  

With a pool of around $23,000 to share, the committee hasn’t set a limit on the number of winning projects.

 Winning projects will be showcased online, and the public will decide which one will receive a $2,000 boost.


The committee is guided by principles we’re grateful to Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki for sharing, including whanaungatanga (reminding us that working together helps make the best projects possible), mohiotanga (freely and openly sharing information and knowledge) and kaitiakitanga (supporting people and place). A full list of these principles and how they relate to the fund is here. Please refer to these in your application.


Application process

The funding round is now open. Applications close at 5PM on Sunday, 17th October.

  • APPLICATION SUPPORT: For anyone wanting to further develop their project before applying. Email whakahiko.otaki@gmail.com
  • Please note that as well supplying a written application, you are welcome to APPLY IN PERSON  on Tuesday,19th October (between 5:00-7:30pm, timing to be arranged with Energise Ōtaki).
  • Application forms [note: these have the OLD deadline on them]: read online | download pdf to print | download docx to edit  

Email your application to whakahiko.otaki@gmail.com or
Post to: Energise Ōtaki, 176 Waerenga Rd, Otaki 5512 or
Drop it in to the Energise Ōtaki office at 7 Main Street, open Tuesdays – Thursday from 10am to 2pm.

Who can apply

Local schools, organisations and businesses or ANYONE living in Ōtaki or Te Horo. People living elsewhere can also apply, if their project directly benefits Ōtaki and/or Te Horo. Applications can be to kick-start new ideas or to support existing projects. You are welcome to apply for multiple projects!


  • Now: Applications are welcome
  • 17th October: WRITTEN applications close at 5pm. All applicants must give a written application. 
  • 19th October: IN PERSON verbal applications/ presentations for any applicant who wants to (this is an offer, not a requirement). Timing between 5:00-7:30pm to be arranged with Energise Ōtaki.
  • +/-29th October: Winners notified.
  • 6th November: An online COMPETITION showcasing all winning projects begins, with Ōtaki voting for which one gets an extra $2000 funding boost.
  • 16th November: Celebration night, and announcement of the funding boost recipient.
  • +/- Mid-December: Winning projects receive funds to change the world (centred in Ōtaki).