Community Environment Fund application and funding process

This page outlines the standard application and funding process of the Community Environment Fund.

The application and funding process described on this page applies to open contestable funding rounds.

The application and funding process for rounds that are targeted at specific types of projects may differ. For these funding rounds refer to the relevant web page for the applicable process.

CEF standard application and funding process

Stage I

1. Complete and submit the application forms (part 1 and part 2)

Applicants must complete the CEF application forms for the funding round and submit them by email to by the due date. Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

2. Application assessment

An assessment panel reviews all eligible, complete applications and makes funding recommendations. 

All applications are assessed against:

  • CEF eligibility criteria and assessment criteria 
  • general government 'value for money' criteria
  • the Ministry’s key priorities for the financial year (see the Statement of Intent) 
  • the funding principles
  • other applications received in the same funding round. 

The assessment panel makes recommendations for funding. The Minister for the Environment then decides which projects are invited to proceed to Stage II of the funding process. An invitation to Stage II is not an approval for funding. 

The invitation to proceed to Stage II will stipulate the maximum amount of funding provisionally awarded to the project. This amount might be less than the amount of funding requested. When this happens, the scope and scale of the project may need amending during Stage II of the funding process.

Stage II

1. Finalise project details

Applicants who reach Stage II are allocated a funds analyst from the Ministry to support them through Stage II of the funding process.  Stage II involves finalising the details of the project for incorporation into a Deed of Funding. The Ministry will undertake independent third party due diligence and reference checks on the applicants invited to Stage II and their projects at the same time the deeds and funding are being prepared. Applicants have around three months to complete Stage II of the funding process. 

2. Sign Funding Deed

Successful applicants are required to sign a Deed of Funding with the Ministry. Proof of legal entity status will be required before the Deed of Funding is signed.

The Deed of Funding describes the obligations and rights of the contracting parties and includes the following details:

  • contracting parties
  • contract term (maximum of three years)
  • project description
  • funding conditions
  • activities and deliverables
  • intellectual property
  • liability
  • payment conditions.

Deed of Funding [DOC, 228 KB]

Deed of Funding [PDF, 397 KB]

3. Start project

Fund recipients begin work on their projects and report to the Ministry on project progress as stipulated in the Deed of Funding. 

The Ministry monitors and assesses each project against the stated performance measures and conditions within the Deed of Funding. Progress payments will be made in arrears once agreed deliverables have been submitted to the Ministry and have been assessed as complete and satisfactory.

Find out more

If you have questions regarding the CEF application process please contact the Ministry on 0800 499 700 or by email at