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Find out if your project is eligible for the DOC Community Fund and apply by 31 January 2023.

The DOC Community Fund supports community-led conservation projects on public and private land. There is $7.2 million available in the 2022/23 funding round for threatened species and ecosystems projects.

To apply for this fund, you must meet all the eligibility criteria listed below. 

Eligibility criteria

You can apply to this funding stream if the project:

  • reduces the extinction risk of priority threatened species (limited to those defined as Nationally Critical, Nationally Endangered or Nationally Vulnerable) at their priority management sites or protects and enhances priority ecosystems (guided by the Top 850 Ecosystem Management Units, Ngā Awa sites, Marine Reserves and Rare and Threatened Ecosystem types)
  • is community-led (For example, led by whānau, hapū, iwi, community conservation groups, not-for-profit organisations or umbrella groups. Government departments and local authorities cannot apply.)
  • seeks funding for up to 3 years
  • is for a minimum of $30,000.

How to determine eligibility

Read the Application guide – threatened species and ecosystems (PDF, 683K).

If you are working to protect a threatened species, you need to follow these steps.

  1. Confirm the species is listed as ‘threatened’ (either Nationally Critical, Endangered or Vulnerable) in the New Zealand Threat Classification System. See the List of threatened species (XLXS, 693K) from the NZTCS website.
  2. Confirm your location is a priority management site for that species. You will need to contact the DOC Funds Team (email: to confirm this. Be specific when providing your location/s.

For protecting and enhancing threatened ecosystems, you will need to check if the ecosystem is one of the following.

  1. Identified by DOC as top 850 Ecosystem Management Unit (EMU) or Marine Reserve. See the Map of EMUs and marine reserves (note this map does not show EMUs on private land).
  2. Located within a Ngā Awa catchment, supporting the freshwater ecosystem. See page 6 of the application guide and Ngā Awa river restoration programme.
  3. Identified as threatened Naturally Uncommon Ecosystem types. See page 7 of the application guide for the list of 45 ecosystem types. More detail on the ecosystems can be found on the Manaaki Whenua website: Naturally uncommon ecosystems.

Assessment criteria

Your application will be assessed on the following criteria.

  • The extent of biodiversity benefits that the project will deliver, specifically reducing the extinction risk of priority threatened species and/or protecting and enhancing priority ecosystems.
  • The extent to which the project will deliver wider conservation benefits, including volunteer effort, stakeholder collaboration, co-design work and partnerships that connect New Zealanders with nature.
  • Recognition will be given to projects that support Te Ao Māori and mātauranga Māori, respecting tangata whenua values and aspirations for the environment.
  • The readiness of the project, including the feasibility of objectives and methods, required skill sets and capability to deliver the project, and provision of a reasonable and realistic project budget and timeframe.
  • The likelihood that, and extent to which, project benefits will be sustained.

How to apply

Email your completed application form to the DOC Funds Team. Include your organisation name in the subject line.

Applications are due by 31 January 2023.


You will receive a response acknowledging receipt of your application. If you have not received this within one working day, email or call the Funds Team.

You will be advised on the outcome of your application in April 2023.

Application form and guidance

Application guide – threatened species and ecosystems (PDF, 683K)

Application form (DOC, 120K)

Contact us

If you have any questions about your application contact the DOC Funds Team.

Phone: 0800 86 20 20

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