Community Leadership Scholarships

These scholarships are designed to support:

  • rangatahi (youth) leadership development
  • community/non-profit emerging and;
  • mid-career and established leaders to access leadership development relevant to their stage and distinct personal and professional development needs so they can realise their potential and capacity for leadership in the community.  

Enhanced leadership skills and knowledge and increased leadership talent and capacity within individuals, organisations and the community helps to tackle community challenges and drive positive outcomes.


Our Leadership Scholarship fund encourages:

  • individuals to seek improved leadership skills and knowledge and to have increased access to professional development opportunities
  • organisations to have enhanced organisational resilience and strengthened capability to achieve goals and to deliver quality services and programmes
  • community to have enhanced leadership capacity

Total fund: $20,000 per annum

Apply: Anytime - but you do need to apply before your activity has started

Can You Apply?

Eligibility and criteria – Community/For Purpose (Not for Profit)

Applications will be accepted from people who:

  • are an Aotearoa New Zealand citizen or hold an Aotearoa New Zealand permanent residency

  • reside in the Trust’s area and have done so for 3 years or more

  • work in or be significantly involved as a volunteer in any of the following in the Trust’s area:
    • a For Purpose (Not for Profit) organisation  
    • an Iwi/Māori organisation
    • a Pasifika or other cultural organisation
    • a specific community of interest e.g. youth, Iwi/Māori, Pasifika, migrant/refugee community, disability
  • have some leadership experience, being either an emerging leader, mid-career or established leader

  • have the support of their organisation/community (e.g. Manager, CE, Executive Committee or Governance Board) or a relevant community leader;

  • show evidence of their personal character and capacity for leadership;
    • accomplishments, commitment and motivation to serve their organisation/community in the Trust’s area;
    • community involvement in the Trust’s area e.g. membership of external organisations, committees or boards;
    • readiness, commitment, and motivation to take their leadership to the next level.

Eligibility and criteria – Rangatahi (Youth)

Applications will be accepted from rangatahi who:

  • are an Aotearoa New Zealand citizen or hold an Aotearoa New Zealand permanent residency
  • reside in the Trust’s area and have done so for 3 years or more
  • consideration will be given to those who have lived in the Trust's area for 3 years or more and whose immediate family still reside in here, but you have left the province to:
    • attend boarding school
    • undertake tertiary study
    • and can show evidence of ongoing connection/involvement/giving back to their community in the Trust region through their leadership.
  • are strongly involved in their community of interest in the Trust’s area
  • have the support of their community of interest or a relevant community leader
  • show evidence of their:
    • personal character and capacity for leadership
    • community involvement in the Trust’s area
    • readiness and motivation to take their leadership to the next level.


You can only receive one leadership scholarship in a 12 month period and a lifetime maximum of 5 Leadership Scholarships.

What We Fund

Our leaders of today and tomorrow need to be reflective of our communities therefore, the following are priorities for our Community Leadership scholarships:

  • ensuring equity, inclusion, and diversity in those benefiting from leadership scholarships including; ethnicity, gender identity, ages, varying geographies, contexts, size of organisations, sectors, and fields of operation

  • empowering rangatahi (youth) through leadership opportunities and experiences

  • sustaining Māori cultural knowledge and leadership

  • encouraging Pasifika, other cultures, migrant, and refugee leadership development

The following are just a few examples of the types of leadership development programmes and opportunities considered:

Funding can cover such things as course fees and related administration costs, costs incurred in transport and travel for study or course materials.

What We Don't Fund

These scholarships are not be available to people who are:

  • under the age of 15

  • from outside the Trust rohe/area

  • already participating in a leadership related programme/course

  • studying towards a formal leadership related qualification e.g. certificate, diploma, degree or higher-level study

  • Trustees and Staff of Community Trust South and their immediate families (immediate families includes: partners, parents, children, step children, grandchildren, grandparents and siblings) due to a perceived conflict of interest
  • applying as an employee or councillor of local government or as an employee of a central government department or agency (including schools and school boards) tertiary institutes or for-profit organisations unless the application clearly relates to a wider community benefit outside of the organisation. The Trust regards professional development related to these organisations as the responsibility of the organisation and the expectation is the organisation would also be contributing

  • applying for costs to cover wages

  • applying as part of a Service Club

  • retrospective projects and activities i.e. an activity that has already started or has been completed

  • professional development without a leadership focus

  • professional development deemed to be the responsibility of your organisation or employer

How To Apply

Applications can be made anytime and are made online

If you haven’t applied before you need to register first by providing your name and email address as well as creating a password – it only takes a moment. Once registered you can log in at any time to start an application or to access it again later, so you can work on it over time.

If you are under 18 years of age you will also need to include a completed Parent/Guardian Consent form as part of your application.

To help you prepare you can also download the application form so you can see the questions we ask.

How We Assess Applications

We carry out an initial review of your application to make sure you are eligible to apply and then staff assess your application to help Trustees to make an informed decision on your application.

We may also contact you to ask further questions about your activity and application.

The following are what we consider depending on the activity you are applying for:

  • alignment with the Community Leadership Scholarship purpose, outcomes and priorities
  • your leadership ability or potential
  • the likely impact of the proposed activity on the your leadership development
  • the relevance of the activity to your stated learning and career development objectives and to your stage of development
  • merit of leadership activity
  • potential benefits to an organisation and/or your community of interest

Value of award

Amount of funding approved is at the discretion of Trustees and is dependent on:

  • the number of applications received
  • nature of the application
  • costs involved
  • funding available

When Will You Hear Back?

It takes up to 8 weeks for a decision to be made and you’ll be sent an email letting you know the outcome.

If your application is successful, the email will outline the amount approved and any funding conditions. You can read our Managing Your Funding for more information.

If your application is unsuccessful the email will outline the reasons for your application being declined.

Successful applicants will need to provide an accountability report within 2 months of completing the activity for which funding was awarded. The report will be available online.

If you have any further questions about our Community Leadership Scholarships ring 0800 500 185 or email