The fund supports conservation projects or activities for conservation in Waikato.

DOC is committed to working with communities to encourage hands-on involvement in conservation. 

The amount allocated at any one time to an applicant will not exceed $5,000 (including GST).


The fund will assist community groups to undertake the following projects or activities:

  • protection, enhancement or restoration of native species, habitats or natural features
  • Improving recreational opportunities or historic heritage to increase public enjoyment of an area
  • increased public understanding of, and involvement in, conservation through education, interpretation or public information
  • facilitation or administration costs of establishing a group, governance or training of members to help achieve conservation outcomes.

Who can apply

Any nonprofit community group whose purpose is to be involved in a conservation project of activity on public or private land. Funding is restricted to projects that occur or will benefit conservation within DOC's former Waikato Conservancy boundary as defined on the map.


Expenditures that will not be funded are:

  • reimbursement of costs incurred prior to the closing date of applications or projects already completed
  • proposals designed to generate personal or commercial profit
  • projects more appropriately funded by other agencies or through other funding sources administered by DOC
  • projects or proposals that conflict with DOC policies or procedures.

Applicant's contribution

To receive funding, an applicant is expected to be actively involved in the project and make a contribution. This could be in the form of materials, labour, advisory role, education or financial contribution. It is important that applicants indicate their contribution to the project on the application form.

Assessing applications

Applications will go through a multi-stage assessment. Following the closing date for applications DOC will make an initial assessment (and may contact you to discuss your proposal). Applications are then referred to a committee comprising representatives of DOC and Waikato Conservation Board for consideration and recommendation.

The final decision will be made by the Conservation Partnerships Manager under delegated authority of the Minister of Conservation. There is no obligation on DOC to allocate the total amount in the fund if insufficient qualifying applications are received.

Factors that will be considered are:

  • the conservation outcomes or public benefits that will accrue from the project or activity
  • how well the proposal aligns with DOC’s strategic directions and conservation priorities
  • the impact the project will have in terms of generating public interest, understanding and involvement, especially amongst a non-traditional conservation audience
  • the gains from linkages between the proposed project and other conservation work happening in the area
  • skills and experience available to undertake the project and the likely achievability within the timeframe of the grant
  • alternative funding sources that may be more appropriate for the project
  • any previous grant from the fund and satisfactory performance on the part of the applicant in fulfilling the requirements of any previous grant
  • the applicant's contribution to the project
  • other agency support and contribution to the project.

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a contract with DOC to do the work or activity for which funding has been allocated. Should any group receiving a grant fail to complete the project then all monies granted under the Fund and not expended directly on the project will be required to be returned to the fund.

Whether your application is successful or not, DOC aims to follow up opportunities of working with community groups to achieve conservation outcomes.

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