Funds for Tree Planting in NZ
December 16, 2022

Funds for Tree Planting in NZ

Whether you're after financing for planting, equipment, or forestry research, there's an abundance of forest funding options in NZ. Find out what funds and loans are available for tree planting in nz.

This blog is dedicated to exploring the various sources of available financing for forest conservation, protection, tree planting, and forest research in Aotearoa. New Zealand has many government tree-planting schemes as well as independent organisations that provide funds and grants for tree planting. Whether you're an individual conservationist or a business looking to invest in forest protection, this blog is here to help you find solutions and options.

The Ministry of Primary Industries Funds

The Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Increased Productivity (MAPIP) is a programme designed to support Māori agribusinesses in increasing their productivity and profitability. The programme provides knowledge, business advice and support to help Māori agribusinesses to become more competitive. It provides access to tailored business advice and mentoring, financial assistance, resources, networks and other assistance that can help Māori agribusinesses to grow and succeed.

The Hill Country Erosion Fund is a New Zealand government fund that supports farmers, landowners, and communities to protect, restore and enhance hill country. The program helps map and treat erosion-prone land through forestry, reducing sediment and optimising soil. It provides grants and other support to help manage and mitigate the effects of erosion on hill country land. The funding applications open every four years. Currently, there are 12 projects being supported. 

The Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) NZ is a joint initiative between the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment. The initiative provides funding for projects that will help to protect and enhance the natural environment, reduce the effects of climate change, and promote sustainable land use. There are two funding options with SLMACC. The first is the grants, which are for shorter terms projects, which generally take up to a year to complete. Grants are awarded up to $250,000 per project. The second funding option is collaborations for more complex projects that take 2-5 years to complete. These projects must show co-development between different organisations and researchers. Collaboration funding can be up to $300,000 per year. Applications run from May-July each year. 

Department of Conservation Funds:

The Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund was established in 2001 to provide an environmental aid package for Māori landowners. The fund provides grants to Māori landowners to purchase land for environmental protection, environmental enhancement, conservation and restoration projects. Grants are based on sustainability, representativeness, cultural/natural heritage and landscape integrity. The fund is open to applications from March 1st - May 31st every year. 

The Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund is a fund set up by the Ministry for the Environment and DOC to preserve traditional Māori knowledge and to protect and restore the natural environment. The fund provides grants for projects that protect and restore ecosystems and support the teaching and learning of environmental knowledge and skills. The fund is open to representatives of whānau, hapū or iwi. Funding opens every four years.

The DOC community fund is dedicated to projects that aim to increase and support native species and ecosystems. There are around $9.2 million of funds, with $7.2 available for the environment and $2 million for cultural projects. Projects must aim to reduce the danger of extinction for the Nationally Critical, Nationally Endangered, and Nationally Vulnerable species to regenerate priority ecosystems. Funding can cover up to three years with a minimum $30,000 per project. Funding is open from November - January each year. 

The Nature Heritage Fund (NHF) provides grants for projects that protect and restore the country's native biodiversity, including threatened species and ecosystems. The fund supports pest control, habitat restoration, plantings, and forest research initiatives. It provides grants for both private and public projects, including those from non-profit organisations, iwi, hapū, and local and central government.

Lottery Grants Board

The Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee (LEHC) is a joint committee of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and the Department of Conservation (DOC). The committee is responsible for allocating funds from the New Zealand Lotteries Commission to community-led environmental or heritage projects. These projects protect and restore habitats for native plants or animals and improve access and information. Small grants are classified as less than $250,000, and large grants are $250,000 or more. Multiple application opportunities are available throughout the year. 

The Lottery Significant Projects Fund (LSPF) is a fund for large-scale projects that significantly impact the community. The types of projects supported by the fund include environmental projects with significance that protect and promote native wildlife and forests. It provides grants for projects with a total minimum expenditure of $3 million.

Regional funding:

Each region has a variety of funding available. Check out all the options on the following pages:

Community Trusts:

Community trusts grant funding and support for communities and charities. Check out the range of funding available for each region:

The Tanes Trees Trust is a charitable group which provides funding to help restore and protect native forests in New Zealand. They have been operating since 2002 and have funded over 100 projects in the past 20 years. The trust has helped to fund tree planting, pest control, forest research into native species, and the protection of existing forests. They have also provided financial support to community groups and schools for community-led conservation activities.

The Te Puni Kōkiri: Whenua Māori Fund is a fund that was established in 2012 by Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry of Māori Development). It provides financial assistance to Māori land owners and their hapū to help them manage their Whenua (land). It supports activities such as land development, protection of natural resources, and cultural revitalisation. The fund also encourages Māori landowners to work together to develop and protect their Whenua. The fund is part of Te Puni Kōkiri's commitment to enabling Māori to succeed economically and culturally and to close the disparities that exist between Māori and non-Māori land owners. Applications can be made at any time during the year. 

Auckland Zoo's Conservation Fund aims to support conservation projects locally and globally. It provides financial aid to forest research, education and community projects that protect species and habitats. It encourages individuals and organisations to donate to the fund. All funds raised go towards conservation efforts to ensure that species and habitats are protected and preserved. So far, Auckland Zoo has raised over $4,000,000 and has spent around 11,000 hours working on 40 projects nationally and internationally. 

Auckland Zoo's Small Grants Program helps with small-level funding or new projects with conservational goals. The program prioritises projects that aim to restore threatened species. Grants are awarded up to $5,000 but usually range from $2,000 to $4,000. The amount granted should be around 25% of the project's budget. Applications close in February 2023. 

The New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust is a charitable trust that supports and protects wetlands, rivers, and other habitats to ensure the success of bird species. The trust works in partnership with other organisations, such as the Department of Conservation, to monitor and protect habitats and species and promote public education and forest and species research. Applications close on June 30th each year.

The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (PDCT) is a charitable organisation dedicated to providing financial and other resources to promote the conservation and protection of land in the Pacific Islands. The PDCT works with local communities and organisations to help them better understand, plan and manage their natural and cultural resources. The trust also provides technical assistance and resources in sustainable livelihoods, marine conservation, climate change, land use planning, and environmental education. The trust has a budget of $250,00 worth of grants each year, with each grant ranging from $2,000 to $50,000. 

The QEII Trust Stephenson Fund for Covenant Enhancement is a charitable trust established to help protect and enhance New Zealand's indigenous and natural environment. The fund provides grants to landowners and community groups working to protect and improve the environment through covenants, land-use agreements and other conservation initiatives. Grants range from $2,000 to $15,000 each. Applications close at the end of August each year. 

Community Conservation and Education Fund was established by The WWF and the Tindall Foundation. This fund provides financial support to help New Zealand community-led conservation and education projects. The fund is designed to help build the capacity of local communities to take action on conservation and sustainability challenges. Projects supported by the fund include native forest restoration, forest research, species monitoring, community events, education, and awareness raising. Grants are up to $15,000 each and can be renewed for up to three years. 

Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures has been launched by the New Zealand government to help the country's primary sector transition to a more sustainable and resilient future. The funding supports research and development that helps to protect, manage, and enhance New Zealand's forests. It is available to individuals, companies, and other organisations working in the forestry sector. Funding budget is $70 million.

The Climate Change Fund (CERF) is a New Zealand government fund that provides grants to individuals, businesses and communities to reduce emissions through projects such as tree planting. The budget includes a $3.3 billion package of investments over the next four years to reduce New Zealand's emissions, tackle climate change and build a more resilient and sustainable economy. This includes investing in renewable energy, reforestation, energy efficiency, sustainable land use, transport and waste management, and building climate change adaptation and resilience. 

Te Uru Rākau, The One Billion Trees Fund is a New Zealand government initiative founded in 2019 that aims to plant one billion trees by 2028. The aim is to support the restoration and regeneration of native forests and other ecosystems. This initiative will help protect native species, reduce erosion, improve water quality, increase carbon storage, and create jobs. It will focus on planting native species on public and private land and includes various activities such as fencing, pest control, and replanting as well as forest research, and education. As of January 2021, they have invested over $67 million into 582 projects.


The ANZ Staff Foundation is a charitable organisation that financially contributes to community groups and organisations. Contributions from ANZ staff and customers fund the Foundation. It distributes grants to organisations focused on education, health, the environment, and other areas of community needs. Grants have a maximum of $25,000.

ANZ Business Green Loan (sustainable land use) is available to customers looking to finance planting projects that involve sustainable land use through reforestation, afforestation or the preservation of natural landscapes. The minimum loan amount is $20,000, for a maximum loan term of 15 years. 

The Harcourts Foundation is a charitable organisation in New Zealand that works to improve the lives of those in need. It provides grants to charities and provides access to education, health and housing for those in need. It also works to promote community resilience and environmental sustainability. The foundation also hosts fundraising events and campaigns and encourages donations. Grants can range from $400 - $10,000. 

Canon New Zealand provides grants and awards to non-profit organisations and individuals in the New Zealand community. The grants and awards are designed to support those making a positive difference in the community and to help promote creative excellence such as native restoring biodiversity. Canon provides financial support, equipment and services to help organisations and individuals reach their goals. Canon has donated above $450,000 to groups over the past 18 years.