How to apply for a Direct Grant from the One Billion Trees Fund

Find out how to apply for a direct grant from the One Billion Trees Fund, and what supporting information you will need.

30 April 2021

The One Billion Trees fund is now closed for new applications. All existing signed contracts will progress according to the contract terms.

If you have any questions email


Follow the 3 steps to make your application.

Step 1: Check the eligibility criteria

You'll need to check your project against the eligibility criteria before you apply.

These include things like minimum areas required for planting, and minimum numbers of trees you'll need to plant.

Step 2: Gather your supporting evidence

To support your application you’ll need to provide evidence that your project is suitable for the site and is likely to succeed. You’ll need to provide:

  • a map and photographs of the site
  • a management plan
  • proof of compliance with forestry regulations
  • other useful evidence.

Send us a map and photographs

The map needs to clearly show where each block of planting and/or reversion will be established. Ideally your map would be in a shapefile format, but we’ll accept other formats. The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association has guidance available to help you create a map from Google Earth.

How to create good Google Earth files

If you’re doing riparian planting your map will need to clearly show the different planting zones (if more than one) and the location of fences.

Photographs of each block help build a picture of the site and improve the quality of your application.

Prepare a management plan

A management plan is required for the application. The management plan details how you’ll manage your project including site preparation, pest and weed control, fencing, planting, post-planting maintenance, and harvesting (if applicable). Your management plan should specify which species and how many you intend to plant in each block, as well as the year or years of planting.

If you’re doing riparian planting, your management plan will need to be completed or endorsed by a regional council or relevant professional (for example, an ecologist or a registered forestry consultant).

You can complete the management plan template or attach your own.

Planting and management plan templates

Reversion planting [DOCX, 47 KB]

Native planting [DOCX, 59 KB]

Manuka/kanuka planting [DOCX, 53 KB]

Exotic planting [DOCX, 51 KB]

Proof of compliance with forestry regulations

If you’re planting exotic conifers you’ll need to provide a copy of the Wilding Tree Risk Calculator score to Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service (Forestry New Zealand). You can do this either at the time of application or before you receive your first milestone payment.

The Wilding Tree Risk Calculator is a requirement for all exotic conifers under the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). The NES-PF requires these scores to be completed by a suitably qualified person and within a specific timeframe prior to planting.

Wilding Tree Risk Calculator

Find out more about the NES-PF

New plantation forest on land identified as highly or very highly erodible under the NES-PF may need to have a resource consent from a regional council. If you’re establishing a new plantation forest and already have a resource consent, provide it with your application. If you don’t have a resource consent, but are likely to need one, you’ll be provisionally approved until you provide Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service with a copy of your resource consent.

Other useful evidence

A farm environment plan or letter of support from your regional council land management team will help your application, but isn’t a requirement.

Step 3: Complete the application form

We are currently not accepting applications.

The One Billion Trees Fund application form is in 3 parts. The first part captures general information about you. The second part captures specific information about the proposed project and the land for a Direct Grant. The third part is the Partnership Funding Expression of Interest.

Complete parts 1 and 2 if you're only applying for a Direct Grant. Complete all 3 parts if you're applying for both a Direct Grant and Partnerships Funding.

Sample Application Form [PDF, 662 KB]

Claim for Payment Form – Milestone Report [DOCX, 69 KB]

We can post you an application form if you have trouble downloading it. To request an application form:

Send your completed application and supporting documentation to

While we prefer email you can post it to:

Forest Development Grant and Partnerships
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Applying for both Direct Grants and Partnership Funding

You can apply for both Direct Grants and Partnership Funding in the same application if:

  • you’re a collective of landowners who want to plant a large area or catchment in native trees, and you need project support, or
  • your Partnership Funding initiative includes tree planting.

If you're unsure how to complete the application form for your project, email

Find out more about Partnership Funding

After you have submitted your application

We aim to acknowledge that we've received and logged your application within 10 days. Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service may contact you if we need any further supporting information or clarification. We aim to complete assessments within 2 months of receiving a completed application.

Once you send in your completed application Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service will check it meets the eligibility criteria and meets the principle of right tree, right place, right purpose. If your project meets these requirements we’ll contact you and send out a Grant Agreement detailing the terms of the contract for you to sign.

The contract will only be valid if it’s returned signed.

If you’ve applied and haven’t heard from us, email

How Direct Grants are paid out

One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants guides 

Guide sheet 1: One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants - Introduction to funding [PDF, 1.8 MB]

Guide sheet 2: One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants - Application process [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Guide sheet 3: One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants - Land preparation and planting information [PDF, 5.7 MB]

Guide sheet 4: One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants - Planting and management plans [PDF, 5.7 MB]

Guide sheet 5: One Billion Trees Fund Direct Grants - Milestones and payments [PDF, 5.7 MB]

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