Skip to main content.

Sources of funding for projects and participation

The Ministry for the Environment manages the following funds on behalf of its Ministers.

Community Environment Fund

Designed to help you make a positive difference to the environment


The Community Environment Fund (CEF) funds projects that support partnership between parties and increase community-based advice, educational opportunities and public awareness on environmental issues.

Contact cef@mfe.govt.nz for more information.

Waste Minimisation Fund

Designed to boost New Zealand performance in waste management

The Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) funds waste minimisation projects that increase resource efficiency, reuse, recovery and recycling of waste, and decrease waste to landfill.

Contact wmf@mfe.govt.nz for more information.

The Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund

The Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund addresses the problem of poor quality fresh water as a result of historical decisions and practices.

The fund provides regional councils and their project partners with financial assistance to remediate water bodies of national significance. The Government has announced four new recipients of funding. Further announcements are pending.

Questions and answers, and further information on the fund are on the Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund page

Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund

The Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund (CSRF) was initiated in 2003 and is administered by the Ministry for the Environment. Only regional councils and unitary authorities can apply to the CSRF for funding to assist with a contaminated sites investigation, remedial planning and remediation of sites that pose a risk to human health and environment. The Ministry for the Environment has set criteria for the CSRF.

Funding decisions are made bi-annually. Funding rounds close on the last working day of September/March but the Ministry accepts applications all year. The Ministry’s contribution for funding will not exceed 50 per cent of the total project cost. If you require more information please contact CSRFapplication@mfe.govt.nz.

Environmental Legal Assistance Fund

The Environmental Legal Assistance Fund provides not-for-profit groups with financial assistance to advocate for an environmental issue of public interest at resource management cases at the Environment Court, and at boards of inquiry constituted under the  ‘call-in’ provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991. The Fund reimburses the costs of legal counsel and expert witnesses.


An independent Advisory Panel meets about every 5 weeks to assess applications against the criteria set out in the Guide to Applicants and will make its recommendation to the Chief Executive's Office of the Ministry.


Please contact ela.fund@mfe.govt.nz or visit the Environmental Legal Assistance web pages for further information.


The following table lists other funding resources available from other government departments.

Organisation Funding resources available
Department of Conservation  

DOC’s Nga Whenua Rahui fund supports conservation projects by tangata whenua groups.  Enquire at kaitakawaenga@doc.govt.nz
The Biodiversity Advice Fund focuses on information and advice to land managers. It funds projects which inspire landholders or groups to better protect indigenous species on their land, such as workshops, field-days, and publications.  Enquire at http://www.biodiversity.govt.nz/land/nzbs/pvtland/condition.html
The Biodiversity Condition Fund aims to improve and maintain the condition of areas of indigenous vegetation, species and habitats. The fund seeks to broaden community effort in the management of indigenous biodiversity. Suitable projects may include fencing or pest control on private land.  Enquire at http://www.biodiversity.govt.nz/land/nzbs/pvtland/condition.html
The Nature Heritage Fund (NHF) is an independent contestable fund established by the Government in 1990 for voluntary protection of nature on private land.  Enquire at http://www.biodiversity.govt.nz/land/nzbs/pvtland/condition.html

Department of Internal Affairs

Information on community funding administered by the Local Government and Community Branch is available on the Department of Internal Affairs website www.dia.govt.nz or www.cdgo.govt.nz

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)

EECA administer a number of funding schemes and programmes for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. For more information refer to www.eeca.govt.nz

Ministry for Primary Industries

MPI’s Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) supports projects that contribute to the economic, social and environmental viability of farmers, growers, foresters and their wider rural communities. For more details see www.mpi.govt.nz/agriculture/funding-programmes/sustainable-farming-fund.aspx 

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Sustainable Farming Fund - Climate Change portfolio is an initiative under the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Plan of Action. Funds are available for farmer, forester and grower led projects that advance the climate change objectives of mitigation, adaptation and/or business opportunities. For more information see www.mpi.govt.nz/agriculture/funding-programmes/sustainable-farming-fund.aspx

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Community Irrigation Fund www.mpi.govt.nz/agriculture/funding-programmes/community-irrigation-fund helps rural communities adapt to climate change by assisting promoters of community water storage and irrigation schemes raise support and design schemes, and by assisting local government to develop water strategies that consider the potential for rural irrigation-related infrastructure. 

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Hill Country Erosion Programme www.mpi.govt.nz/agriculture/funding-programmes/slm-hill-country-erosion-programme focuses on building the technical capacity of regional councils and providing targeted funding for catchment initiatives.

Ministry of Culture and Heritage

The Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund is to support events which commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and promote nation building and community building. It is designed to encourage a wider spread of communities participating in Waitangi Day events. For more information see http://www.mch.govt.nz/awards/waitangi/index.html

Ministry of Fisheries

The Ministry of Fisheries has funding for fisheries management plans that can be accessed through its Pou Takawaenga officers. Enquire at www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Extension+Service+Team/default.html

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)

NZTE offers a wide range of services and programmes for businesses, from start-ups to established groups of exporters. These services include training, mentoring, funding, and business and market development assistance. For more information see www.nzte.govt.nz

Enterprise Development Grants (Trade and Enterprise)

The Enterprise Development Grants programme (EDG) aims to assist New Zealand businesses and entrepreneurs to gain additional skills and abilities to pursue their business development goals by building capability and supporting development initiatives.  The Enterprise Development Grants programme consists of two components, a Capability Building component (EDG-CB) and a Market Development component (EDG-MD).  For further information see http://www.nzte.govt.nz/section/12577.aspx

Growth Services Fund (Trade and Enterprise)

The Growth Services Fund offers support for high growth potential firms to purchase external advice, expertise, and market development services. For further information see http://www.nzte.govt.nz/section/11964.aspx

Te Puni Kokiri

TPK is the government’s principal adviser for Maori affairs.  The website outlines Maori funding assistance from government and non-government organisations, including iwi authorities and professional associations.  Enquire at www.tpk.govt.nz

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

FRST invests in research, science and technology (RS&T) on behalf of the New Zealand government.  For a list of the current funding available go to http://www.frst.govt.nz/funding/search

Last updated: 20 June 2013