About the Freshwater Improvement Fund

This page provides an overview of the Freshwater Improvement Fund and available funding.

The 2017 funding round is now closed for applications.

Purpose of the fund and available funding

The Government has committed $100 million over 10 years to the Freshwater Improvement Fund. Approximately $24.5 million was made available in the first funding round, which is now closed.

The fund is for projects costing $400,000 or more which will improve the quality and availability of water in our water bodies (lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands).

The aim is to make the biggest difference with the available funding. That’s why the fund is focusing on water bodies in vulnerable catchments that are showing signs of stress but have not yet reached a ‘tipping point’. This is when it becomes more expensive and more difficult to restore these water bodies to good health.

We’ve identified and mapped vulnerable catchments, see the map on the MfE Data Service.

Vulnerable catchments on MfE Data Service

Applications for projects in areas not identified as vulnerable which meet all eligibility criteria will also be assessed for funding.

We encourage applications from partnerships between government, iwi/hapū, the community, and philanthropic and private sectors.  

Eligibility criteria for projects

To be considered for funding, projects must meet all eligibility criteria.

For the full set of eligibility criteria, see Eligibility and assessment criteria for the Freshwater Improvement Fund.

Part of the Government’s ongoing freshwater reforms

The Freshwater Improvement Fund is one initiative in a series of Government’s freshwater reforms.

To find out more about the reforms see our Clean Water package 2017 web page.

Contact us

If you have a query about the Freshwater Improvement Fund, please email us and include your name, organisation, a summary of your query, and the best phone number to contact you on. We will respond to your query within five working days.

Email: fif@mfe.govt.nz

Please note we are currently in temporary accommodation as a result of the November 2017 earthquakes, and have limited telephone access, so email is the best way to contact us.