Funding and grants

​Environmental Funding for Southland Schools and Community Groups

This list is not exhaustive and has been compiled by Environment Southland. The information is correct as at March 2015, but may change, particularly application due dates. It is best to contact funders before you apply for accurate information and to ensure your project meets their criteria.

Bayer Primary School Science Fund (Royal Society of New Zealand)

The Bayer Primary School Science Fund is sponsored by Bayer and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. This fund is for primary schools and is intended to support and enhance an environmental science education and 'Nature of Science' teaching and learning programme.

Canon Environmental Grants

Canon Oceania offers an annual environmental grants programme. Grants in-kind worth $15,000 NZD are available to New Zealand organisations making a positive impact on their environment and community.

Community Conservation Partnerships Fund

The fund is directed at practical, on-the-ground projects that maintain and restore the diversity of our natural heritage and enable more people to participate in recreation, enjoy and learn from our historic places, and engage with and value the benefits of conservation.

Community Environment Fund (Ministry for the Environment)

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

Community Matters  grants (Department of Internal Affairs)

A range of grants and fellowships are available to support local initiatives and community services.

Community Trust of Southland

Each year the Community Trust of Southland supports over 350 community organisations through grants. Applications range from a few hundred dollars to thousands and are for a wide range of purposes; from community projects and programmes to general operating support for health and social service organisations. Our funding supports both large and small community groups who work in various sectors including; Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Social Services, Heritage, Community development, Economic Development, Sport & Recreation.

Conservation Innovation Awards (WWF)

WWF's Conservation Innovation Awards aim to uncover and reward game-changing new ideas for nature. It supports projects, products and research that demonstrate innovation in community based conservation.


Donate to deserving organisations in your community, using our unique match maker service – it's like online dating for donating! Recipient membership is FREE and is available if you are one of the following:

  • School : Including Primary, Intermediate, Secondary and Special Schools (excluding privately run, or for-profit schools)

  • Early Childhood Centre: Including Playcentres, Te Kohanga Reo, Montessori and Kindergartens (excluding privately run, or for-profit centres) 

  • Not-For-Profit Organisation: With an education and/or Welfare Focus​

EECA Grants

Would you like to improve your building's energy use but haven't got the capital? Your school may be eligible for some funding to implement energy efficiency projects and to develop renewable energy opportunities. EECA may fund part of the cost of energy efficiency projects - to help get your project 'over the line'. EECA may provide part of the cost of the energy efficiency project, for:

  • audit and works - projects to upgrade or replace equipment, e.g. lighting (20% of funding up to $50,000), refrigeration, heating and air conditioning (40% up to $100,000)

  • continuous commissioning - systems that adjust energy use in your building continuously, in line with demand (40% funding up to $100,000)

  • monitoring and targeting - systems that monitor energy use and identify areas for improvement. This may help identify further cost-effective upgrades (40% funding up to $100,000).

​Environmental Education Action Fund (WWF and the Tindall Foundation)

The aim of the Environmental Education Action Fund is to support schools and communities who, as part of their learning, are taking hands-on action to address an environmental issue.

Fonterra Grass Roots Fund

The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund supports the rural communities where we operate by funding their clever ideas, projects and initiatives.

Habitat Protection Fund (WWF)

The WWF Habitat Protection Fund is targeted at local community conservation groups based and working in New Zealand engaged in hands-on ecological restoration or conservation. We do not fund national or regional umbrella groups.

Honda Tree Fund (Environment Southland)

Projects operating under the TreeFund must be within the following criteria; plants are to be NZ natives and may be used to support any of the following:

Establishment of native tree populations (trees + required protecting cover)

  • Water run off control
  • Erosion control
  • Regional Parks or other planting for beautification
  • Biodiversity protection and restoration
  • Urban stream enhancement
  • Coastal protection and restoration planting​

Invercargill Licensing Trust 

The Invercargill Licensing Trust and the ILT Foundation are major funders of community projects in Invercargill. We provide donations and grants totalling around $10 million a year to over 500 organisations. For more information on how to apply for funding from the Invercargill Licensing Trust, please contact us by phoning: 03 211 3640 or e-mail:

JS Watson Trust (Forest & Bird)

The JS Watson Trust is administered by Forest & Bird. Applications are invited from individuals or conservation groups for financial assistance for conservation projects over the year. Criteria for Assistance:

  • The conservation of plants and animals and natural features of New Zealand
  • The advancement of knowledge in these matters by way of research, literary contribution, essay or articles, or other effort
  • General education of the public to give them an understanding and love of the world in which they live

​Kids Restore New Zealand (Air New Zealand Environmental Trust)

Criteria for school participation:

  • Open to children who are part of a New Zealand school group and are endorsed by their school or recognised organisation.
  • The projects under consideration for Kids restore New Zealand must be of material environmental benefit to a relevant community in a local area and must be able to be completed by local people as volunteers.
  • Projects must contribute to the enhancement, restoration or monitoring of the native flora and fauna of New Zealand.

Lion Foundation

Funds are available for any charitable, philanthropic or cultural purpose that benefits the local community – both large and small.

Mataura Licensing Trust

In conjunction with The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd, support for projects in the Mataura Licensing Trust District in the past eleven years has totalled $11,938,707.36.

The Mazda Foundation

The Mazda Foundation will consider awarding grants to programmes promoting:

  • The maintenance and improvement of the natural environment
  • The advancement of culture and education to achieve excellence at all levels in the community

NZ Community Trust

NZCT's main focus is to provide funds for amateur sport (around 80% of our grants are for sporting purposes). We also support other important causes, including rescue and lifesaving services, community groups, education and the arts.

O-I New Zealand Environmental Fund

The fund encourages schools to implement sustainability projects that help to develop students' skills in identifying, investigating and finding solutions to environmental issues.  This fund is open to kindergartens, primary, intermediate and secondary schools. The fund allocates between $250 and $10,000 to school projects.

Project Crimson Trust

Every year, the Project Crimson Trust reviews applications from groups and individuals throughout New Zealand who aspire to create a long-term benefit to their local community through conservation projects involving eco-sourced pohutukawa and northern or southern rata trees. As well as trees, Project Crimson provides funding to support a range of activities including fencing, possum control, site preparation and ongoing care and maintenance. The Trust also supports research designed to improve understanding of the ecology, or management options for pohutukawa and rata.

Royal Society of New Zealand

We support and encourage New Zealand's brightest and best researchers, teachers and students through a wide range of funds. These include New Zealand opportunities and international collaborations.

Unisys Kidz Connect​​

Unisys Kidz Connect is a New Zealand-wide grant programme designed to support connectivity and innovation amongst primary and intermediate children. Under the programme, ten teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash grant to spend on a programme or project of their choice for the benefit of children in their class.

Southland Environmental Enhancement Fund (Environment Southland)

The Southland Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF) is used to assist individual landowners and community groups to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on private and community-owned land in Southland. The fund will apply primarily to areas of land, ideally dominated by native species that exist within a functioning and sustainable ecosystem. This is likely to involve remnants of native forest, wetland, shrubland and grassland, etc. It could also apply to indigenous biodiversity values in freshwater and marine environments.

The Tui School Garden Challenge

The Tui School Garden Challenge is an annual competition to find the best school garden in New Zealand. We want to see schools growing and learning then sharing the results with their communities. The Tui School Garden Challenge requires schools to design, plan, grow and maintain a garden on school grounds. Schools can use an existing garden or start from scratch.

Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers Awards

Every year the Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers Awards gives prizes to the best and most innovative collaboration between students, teachers and volunteer engineers. These awards offer students the opportunity to work with engineers on practical projects in the school and community as well as providing a creative way to enhance the Technology curriculum.

Treemendous School Makeovers

A Treemendous School Makeover will be made available for up to four primary or intermediate schools throughout New Zealand. The Treemendous School Makeover comprises the development of a detailed plan, supply of trees and plants, some labour support and guidance. It does not involve a cash contribution. Applications can include items other than trees and plants (such as planter boxes, seats, pathways, educational signage etc) though funding of these items will be at the discretion of the Treemendous team.

Page reviewed: 30 Aug 2016 10:24am