Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

Frozen Funds Logo

About the trust

The purpose of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust is to provide grants for projects run by, and for, people who use mental health or intellectual disability services.

Proposed projects must be:

  • applied for by charitable organisations or by charitable organisations on behalf of individuals or groups without charitable status
  • directed by people who use, or have used, mental health or intellectual disability services
  • completed within a finite period.

Preference will be given to project proposals that would not be normally funded through government.

How to apply

For the ‘Theme’ and how to apply please click here. For a Maori translation please click here.

All open grant applications are accessible here.


'Frozen Funds' was the name given to the interest on patients' welfare benefits paid into psychiatric and psychopaedic hospital trust accounts in the 1970s and 80s.  The interest money was kept by the institutions to fund such things as recreational projects.

In 1987, this practice ceased and the interest money was taken from the hospitals for payment to the people who owned it.

Over half of the interest money was returned to its owners in the early 1990s.

The government then decided that the unclaimed balance of the funds should benefit people who used mental health and intellectual disability services.  A charitable trust was established.

You can view lists of grant payments made by the Trust.

To view resources on the intellectual disabilities sector that have been partially or fully funded by the Trust, please visit The Donald Beasley Institute, Publications, Frozen Funds

To view resources on the mental health sector that have been partially or fully funded by the Trust, please visit the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Media, Information Hub. Please type Frozen into the search field. This will bring up the Frozen Funds library resources.

Inquiries about unclaimed interest money

Substantial efforts were made to trace patients entitled to the interest money through a widespread publicity campaign.  The funds have been frozen since 1987 to ensure claimants came forward and decisions were made about the balance of the fund.

For more information contact the

Ministry of Health
P O Box 5013
Wellington 6011.
Ph (04) 496 2000


The Trust Board is made up of seven people, four of whom are current or former users of mental health or intellectual disability services.  Public Trust provides administration and investment services to the Board.

Current members of the Trust Board are:

  • Sir Robert Martin, Wanganui
  • Arlene Foster, Tauranga
  • Fran Hartnett, Auckland
  • Natasha Brown, Hamilton
  • Jan Walter, Dunedin
  • Helen Anderson, Wellington
  • Gina Giordani, Auckland

Donating to the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

The Trust has Charitable Status and individuals making a donation to the Trust are able to claim a refundable tax credit for 33 1/3% of the total donations made.

Companies or Maori Authorities may claim a tax deduction for any donations made to the Trust.

Please note that:

  • You can't claim for payroll giving donations made through your salary and wages, as you receive the tax credits at the time of your donation; and
  • No refundable tax credit or tax deduction is available to the extent it exceeds your taxable income for the year.
  • The Trusts IRD Number is 093 605 187

Donations can be made:

Online by crediting the Public Trust Account held with the BNZ, North End, Wellington
Account number 020-536-0305865-22
Include reference no: CLI00361639 organisation name or individual name.

Story behind the logo

Frozen Funds LogoEach element of the logo plays a significant part in the story behind the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust.  Each of the twelve water drops shown in the logo represents one of the twelve psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals in the country which are now closed.

The water drops also symbolise the human suffering brought about by institutionalising people and the 'thawing' of the frozen funds through the funding activities of the board.  The four larger water drops are laid out to represent a map of New Zealand.