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 Environment Plan (FEP) for the property. FEPs 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

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

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 Environment Plans 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. 

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.

Go to our 'How we can help landowners' information