Environment Fund

What is the Environment Fund?

Funding assistance for projects that protect and enhance Northland’s natural environment.

The Northland Regional Council Environment Fund has been helping people to enhance and protect Northland's natural environment since 1996.

The regional council recognises the effort and commitment that Northlanders are putting into addressing their environmental issues and the continuation of funding reflects this. The fund is provided through four different funding streams with projects funded at up to 50% of their total costs.

Environment Fund achievements.

Environment Fund priorities

The funding year runs from 1 July to approximately the end of February each year, depending on the availability of funds and time for projects to be completed within that financial year. To be eligible for consideration, projects will need to align with one or more of the following funding streams and will require a Farm Water Quality Improvement Plan (FWQIP) for the property. FWQIPs are free, individualised plans for landowners, used to identify on-farm opportunities to reduce the impact of land use on water quality. If you are interested in applying for the fund, please contact a council land management advisor to arrange your site visit.

Priority funding streams

Slipping Te Hana.

Soil conservation – Targeting the maintenance and control of erodible soils, e.g. soil stabilisation via tree planting, fencing to exclude stock, pest control and other suitable means.


Taikirau wetland at Motatau.

Biodiversity – Targeting the restoration and protection of wetlands and lakes, e.g. fencing to exclude stock, riparian planting and pest control.



Hihi dune planting weekend.Coastal – Targeting the restoration, protection and maintenance of dunes, e.g. the planting of spinifex and pingao for dune stabilisation, pest control and fencing to exclude stock.


Cows beside stream.

Water quality – Targeting stock exclusion from waterways and other good management practices that improve water quality.



Who can apply?

Funding can be allocated to individuals and voluntary groups for eligible projects; this may include landowners, community and conservation groups, local Māori groups and schools.

Projects must be of long-term benefit to the local environment and show evidence of good resource management.

Projects designed for personal or commercial profit, required under resource consent or simply to beautify a site, are not eligible for funding.

Projects must be consistent with the funding streams and associated targets to qualify for consideration of funding.

NOTE: the Environment Fund can contribute up to 50% of the total project cost, depending on the project. The landowner must be able to provide the remainder of the cost through funding of their own, their time, other funding sources, or in-kind contributions such as donated materials.

Funding is not retrospective – the regional council will not pay for work done before funding is approved.

When can I apply?

Projects will be accepted for the current financial year, until all funds have been allocated, or projects are unable to be completed before the end of the financial year.

How do I get funding?

It is a requirement that you contact land management staff at the regional council; this discussion will help clarify eligibility for funding and what the process requires.

The land management staff members available to assist you with your funding enquiry are listed at the end of the guide.

Project approval process

This is a four stage process:

1.  Projects have their eligibility assessed via:

  • Information gained once a site inspection has been completed;
  • The submitted Farm Water Quality Improvement Plan and agreement detail; and
  • Ranking each project against the funding stream targets and regional priority status.

2.  Projects not entered through the Exceptional Projects funding stream are approved via delegated authority and reported to the council.

3.  Projects seeking funding through the Exceptional Projects funding stream are presented to the Environmental Management Committee for council approval, after which landowners are notified of the decision.

4.  Funding is approved once the funding agreement has been signed and dated by both parties.

Funding is not retrospective – the regional council will not pay for work done before funding is approved.

Projects without a signed agreement have not had their funding approved.

Funding decisions made by the Northland Regional Council are final with no rights of appeal or review. 

Case studies

These case studies highlight how the Environment Fund can help protect and enhance Northland's natural environment.

Read the Environment Fund case studies

Help is available

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the land management team. The team is able to help you assess your project's eligibility and is available to discuss the project with you on site.

Freephone: 0800 002 004

General water quality

Soil conservation


Lorna Douglas

  • Farm Plan Manager
  • Whangārei Harbour catchment lead
  • Hātea catchment
  • General enquiries

Duncan Kervell

  • Land Manager
  • Waitangi catchment lead
  • General enquiries

Lisa Forester

  • Biodiversity Manager
  • Wetlands and lakes
  • General enquiries
  • Plant identification and enquiries

Jenny Gillanders

  • Far North land management
  • Doubtless Bay catchment lead
  • General enquiries

Wayne Teal

  • Poplar & willow nursery
  • Erodible land & soil stabilisation
  • Ngunguru catchment lead
  • General enquiries

Katrina Hansen

  • Wetland and lake protection and restoration
  • Birds and fauna
  • General biodiversity enquiries

John Ballinger

  • Whangārei north-east and mid-north land management
  • Mangere catchment lead
  • General enquiries

Mike Mitchell and
Paul Sorensen

  • Kaipara catchment hill country erosion project

Will Trusewich

  • Lakes catchment advisor
  • Aquatic pests and fish
  • Lake water quality
  • General enquiries

Jacki Byrd

  • Whangārei north-east and mid-north land management
  • General enquiries

Imogen Field and
Ben Herbert

  • Northern Wairoa matauranga Māori farm plan project

Bruce Griffen

  • Dune lakes enquiries
  • Poutō catchment lead
  • General biodiversity enquiries

Kerry Webster

  • Whangārei south-east land management
  • Waipao catchment lead
  • General enquiries

Sue Hicks

  • All environment fund project administration
  • General enquiries

Laura Shaft

  • CoastCare
  • Sand dune protection and restoration/planting
  • Other coastal projects
  • Check Clean Dry
  • Safe driving on beaches

Lester Bridson

  • Northern east coast land management
  • Doubtless Bay catchment lead
  • General inquiries

Rod McGregor

  • Whangārei area land management
  • General enquiries


Contact us on
0800 002 004