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 help energise Ōtaki/ Te Horo. 2022 FUNDING ROUND NOW CLOSED. 

The Whakahiko Ōtaki–Energise Ōtaki Fund boosts community-initiated ‘energy’ projects.

Funded projects help Ōtaki thrive: by supporting our people; reducing our climate emissions and energy consumption; turning ‘waste’ into energy; sparking energy-related action and awareness. Does your project address a social need, does it ‘do good’ in our community? 

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

How will your great idea help energise Ōtaki/ Te Horo? 

Here’s more detail on what we’re looking for. 

Here are the 2021 Fund recipients. 


+/-Want to talk about your application?

Email whakahiko.otaki@gmail.com

or drop in to our Main St. office, or come to a workshop (details below)  

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 Fund.

How many can win?  

With around $20,000 to share, the committee hasn’t set a limit on the number of winning projects.

 Winning projects will be showcased online.


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 

  • APPLICATION SUPPORT: For anyone wanting to further develop their project before applying. Come to a workshop (see below- just turn up or email us to set a time), visit us at 7 Main St. (10am-2pm, Tuesdays-Thursdays) or email whakahiko.otaki@gmail.com 
  • Please note that as well supplying a written application, you are welcome to APPLY IN PERSON.
  • 2022 Application forms: 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

Any person, anywhere, as long as the project is set in or directly benefits in 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: 2022 applications welcome!
  • 27th September (Tuesday): Workshop/project consultations, between 6:30-8:30pm, Gertrude Atmore Supper Room
  • 8th October (Saturday): Workshop/project consultations, between 10:30am-1pm, Gertrude Atmore Supper Room   
  • 21st October: WRITTEN applications close. All applicants must give a written application. 
  • 2nd November: IN PERSON verbal applications/ presentations for any applicant who wants to (this is an offer, not a requirement!). Timing between 6:00-7:30pm to be arranged with Energise Ōtaki
  • +/-10th November: Winners notified
  • 16th November: Awards presentation
  • Soon after that: Winning projects receive funds to change the world (centred in Ōtaki/Te Horo).