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Freshwater Improvement Fund

The Freshwater Improvement Fund supports the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands. 

Funding is available to apply for over two rounds:

  • the first is a short six-week open period, accepting applications between 7-21 September, and will prioritise investment ready projects 
  • the second longer period will accept applications from 27 January-10 February 2021 to allow applicants more time to spend developing their proposals. 

This funding is being made available as part of the $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature environmental funding programme. 

Find out more about the Jobs for Nature programme.

What the funding is for

Funding is for projects that create employment opportunities which will improve the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands.

This includes funding for:

  • reduction of sediment eroding from the land 
  • wetland construction and restoration 
  • stream reinstatements
  • estuary protection and restoration
  • restoration of fish passage. 

Who can apply

Any legal entity can apply for funding, including: 

  • Iwi
  • local government
  • community groups
  • landowners
  • non-government organisations.

How to apply

Read the Guide for applicants before beginning your application.

To apply, you will need to complete both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Freshwater Improvement application form (the application form for both funding rounds is the same). 

Submit your applications to with ‘FIF application’ and your organisation name in the subject line.

We will accept applications:

  • between 7 September and 21 September 2020
  • between 27 January and 10 February 2021.

Next steps

After you have submitted your application:

  • We will review your application to ensure it is eligible for the fund.
  • Eligible applications will be considered by an assessment panel, using the assessment criteria.
  • The panel will make funding recommendations to the Minister for the Environment. 
  • After the Minister makes their decision, all applicants will be notified of the decision. 
  • Successful applicants will be invited to proceed to the next stage, which involves developing a project plan and signing a deed of funding. 
  • Where needed, initial start-up costs can be provided while the deed of funding is being developed to fast-track some aspects of your project.
  •  Once a deed of funding has been signed, the wider work programme of the project can begin. 

Previously funded projects

Get an overview of each project that has been granted funding from the Freshwater Improvement Fund.