Direct Grant funding categories for tree planting

Different tree-planting grants are available from the One Billion Trees Fund depending on the types of trees you're planting. Find the one that's right for you.

Video – One Billion Trees Fund supporting indigenous restoration in Canterbury (3.20)

Direct Grant funding categories

There are 4 categories of Direct Grants available to landowners from the One Billion Trees Fund, as well as top-ups in some circumstances. You can apply for a grant in one or more categories, and you can apply to plant blocks over several years (up to the third year of the contract) in a single application. Grant contracts are for 10 years.

The grant categories have different grant rates to reflect the different costs of planting activities. Grants contribute towards costs, but don't cover the entire cost of a project.

The 4 planting categories are:

  • native planting
  • native reversion
  • mānuka/kānuka planting
  • exotic planting.

Native planting

$4,000 per hectare to plant a native forest.

  • Types of activities under this category include native forest restoration (planting to help restore native forest), native timber production, and riparian planting (planting along waterways).
  • Small tree species (less than 5 metres), shrubs and other plants are an accepted part of the planting mix, as long as the minimum establishment standard is achieved – 750 living stems per hectare of tree species capable of reaching 5 metres in height.
  • Mānuka is acceptable as a nurse species, but shouldn't make up the majority of trees in these projects.

If you’re undertaking a large or catchment-scale native planting project across multiple landowners you may also be able to access project support (for example, a project coordinator) through Partnership Funding to help manage your planting project.

About Partnership Funding for tree projects

Native reversion

$1,000 per hectare to help revert your land to native forest cover.

  • There must be a seed source close to the project area.
  • Pest and weed control will be critical to project success.
  • Supplementary planting may be needed to meet the establishment standard.

Mānuka/kānuka planting

$1,800 per hectare to plant only mānuka or kānuka blocks.

  • The mānuka must be capable of reaching a height of 5 metres in your area and must not be managed to control height.

Exotic planting

$1,500 per hectare to plant an exotic forest.

The maximum area you can plant in one year is 300 hectares. We'll consider applications to establish more than 300 hectares in one year on a case-by-case basis, and lower grant rates may be negotiated.

The minimum application size is 5 hectares. This can be made up of blocks of one or more categories, and each block must be at least 1 hectare. For example, you could apply for a grant for 1 hectare of exotics and 4 hectares of reversion.

Grant rates will be the same if you are planting trees as part of a Partnership Funding project.

Top-ups to base Direct Grant rates

In addition to the base grant rates, top-ups are available in some cases:

Priority land top-up

Up to $500 per hectare across all grant categories for one or both of the following situations:

  • Erosion-prone land – includes land identified as Orange or Red Zone under the Erosion Susceptibility Classification, Land Use Capability classes 7e and 8e, land identified as erosion prone in a farm-scale map, or a letter of support with accompanying photos from a regional council
  • Land with high land preparation costs – includes Māori-owned land or land that's in a surge region (Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui, and the West Coast). This top up will cover costs (capped at $500 per hectare) for land preparation that exceeds $500 per hectare. For example, if your costs were $750 per hectare you can receive a top-up of $250.

Fencing top-up

$500 per hectare for native planting and native reversion categories.

Native ecological restoration top-up

$2,000 per hectare on top of the native planting grant rate for high-quality projects. This top-up can't be used with the priority land or fencing top-ups.

The overall level of funding is meant to support professional-level planning and ambitious projects.

The minimum area for a native ecological restoration top-up is 5 hectares, which can be made up of different blocks of at least 1 hectare. This area can span multiple landowners or titles.

To access this top-up you’ll need to demonstrate that your project:

  • meets the objectives of the One Billion Trees Fund
  • has clear ecological restoration objectives
  • aligns with catchment, regional or national biodiversity priorities or other environmental or conservation management programmes
  • has a high quality planting and management plan prepared or endorsed by a relevant professional like an ecologist or landscape architect.
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