Waikanae estuary


Links to national organisations who provide funding and grants for community conservation groups.

There are many organisations that provide funding to individuals and community groups for conservation and environmental projects. Some are listed below in the following categories:

The Jobs for Nature work programme is also offering some funding opportunities to support biodiversity, freshwater and biosecurity. Read more about these opportunities.

Generosity New Zealand has online search tools that can connect people to funding opportunities. Their tool, GivUS, offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, school groups, sports clubs and iwi. You will need to register for this website. But you can access it for free at your local library computer or through the library website.

Conservation and environment

  • Conservation fund - Auckland Zoo
    Zoo staff established this fund to support conservation efforts in the wild, in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Predator Free communities fund - Kiwibank and Predator Free NZ Trust
    Supports the purchase of subsidised trapping equipment for communities involved in backyard trapping.
  • Kiwis for kiwi - Kiwi Trust
    Funding for community-based kiwi conservation groups, universities and recognised research facilities.
  • Community Environment Fund - Ministry for the Environment
    Provides funding so New Zealanders are empowered to take environmental action.
  • Community funds - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand
    Supports communities and schools to take conservation action. 
  • 9Wire - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand
    From funding to research assistance, facilitating connections, marketing expertise, or introductions to angel investors: 9Wire puts great innovations in front of the people and organisations who can help.
  • Lottery Environment and Heritage Grant - Lottery Grants Board
    Funds are available for projects that will help protect, conserve or care for our natural, cultural and physical heritage, or allow us to better understand and access these resources.
  • New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust - Fish and Game New Zealand
    Funds the development and enhancement of habitats for the benefit of game birds and other wetland inhabitants.
  • The Tindall Foundation
    Recognising the strength of families and communities and supporting them and our natural environment to thrive - now and in the future.
  • NEXT Foundation
    NEXT administers an up to 10-year, $100 million programme for strategic philanthropy.


  • Freshwater Improvement Fund - Ministry for the Environment
    Funding to improve the management of lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands. For projects with a total value of more than $400,000 that help communities manage freshwater within environmental limits.
  • Million Metres Streams Project - Sustainable Business Network
    For groups committed to improving the water quality and biodiversity of their local waterway. For projects undertaking riparian planting and restoration.

Planting and weed control

  • Hill Country Erosion Fund - Ministry for Primary Industries
    Funding to help protect erosion-prone hill country. It provides leadership and targeted support to regional councils and unitary authorities.
  • One Billion Trees Fund - Te Uru Rākau
    Supports individuals and groups to plant trees or manage land sustainably. Te Uru Rākau works in partnership with landowners and organisations who want to achieve the goal of planting one billion trees by 2028.
  • Trees That Count
    Groups who are registered with Trees That Count can apply for native trees from the Community Marketplace.
  • Small Scale Initiatives Funding - Weedbusters
    Provides funds for Weedbusters groups to cover 'small scale' costs such as tools, herbicides, mulcher hire, greenwaste disposal and for promotional activities within communities to start new Weedbusters groups.

Schools and young people

  • Environmental Education Action Fund - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand
    Provides support for schools and communities who, as part of their learning, are taking hands-on action to address an environmental issue.
  • Growing for Good programme - Countdown
    Primary and intermediate schools (Years 1- 8) throughout New Zealand can apply for funding for environmental projects.
  • Youth Fund - Ministry of Youth Development
    Supports youth-led projects that help young people contribute positively to their community through leadership, mentoring or volunteering opportunities.
  • Environment Fund - O-I New Zealand Environment Fund
    Funding to encourage schools to implement sustainability projects.

Science and research

  • Investment Funds - Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment
    Multiple funds are available to support programmes which build high-performing science and innovation systems.
  • Royal Society
    Multiple funds are available to support science and research work.

Recreation, tourism and heritage

  • National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund - Heritage New Zealand
    Provides financial incentives to encourage the conservation of privately owned heritage places recognised on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero.
  • Backcountry Trust fund - Backcountry Heritage
    Funding for the maintenance of existing huts and tracks that would not otherwise be undertaken by DOC.
  • Enhancement Access Fund - NZ Walking Access Commission
    Supports projects aimed at enhancing access to New Zealand's great outdoors.
  • Tourism Infrastructure Fund - Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
    Provides up to $25 million annually to develop tourism-related infrastructure that supports regions facing pressure from tourism growth.

Other community funds

  • Grassroots Fund - Fonterra
    Supports group projects that will help bring local communities together and make it better, safer and more vibrant places to live.
  • The Lion Foundation
    Grants are given to a diverse range of charitable causes in the areas of health, education, sports and community (such as arts, culture, heritage and environment).
  • Lottery Significant Projects Fund - Lottery Grants Board
    Provides grants to purchase, create or improve community assets that have regional or national significance. It provides grants for these capital expenditure projects with a total cost of $3 million or more.
  • Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) - Department of Internal Affairs
    Provides grants to non-profit organisations delivering community-based social services that contribute to achieving locally determined outcomes.
  • Community Internship Programme - Department of Internal Affairs
    Funds hapū, iwi or community groups to employ skilled professionals to work as an intern with the community group for three to six months.
  • Support for Volunteering Fund - Department of Internal Affairs
    Grants for community projects that support and promote volunteering in New Zealand. It also provides grants for the activities of regional volunteer centres and Volunteering New Zealand.

Regional funders

Many local and regional councils have environmental funds available for landowners and/or community groups. Contact your local council for further information.

As well as local government funding, there are community trusts that support regional projects:

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