Funding to help plant one billion trees

Find out about the types of funding available.

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

Flexible, targeted funding

Launched in November 2018, the One Billion Trees Fund offers $240 million in grants and funding to landowners, organisations, and communities who want to:

  • plant trees
  • revert land to native forest
  • improve the way we grow and plant trees.

Landowners have told us previous forestry funds limited their options for planting trees. Barriers included the rate of funding provided, when the funding was paid out, the type of tree planting that qualified for funding, the complexity of application processes, and the timelines for application.

The One Billion Trees Fund aims to provide flexible funding to help plant the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose. To do this, we’ve introduced more targeted grant rates to encourage specific types of planting, plus more flexible eligibility criteria. You can apply to the One Billion Trees Fund at any time.

Two kinds of funding available

The One Billion Trees Fund provides:

  • Direct Grants: For landowners to plant trees on their land or revert land to native forest. Grants are intended to cover some, but not all, the costs of planting or reversion.
  • Partnership Funding: For organisations and community groups who have ideas to support tree planting and improve how we grow and plant trees. With partnership co-funding, we’ll pay part (normally half) of the costs of your project.

You can apply for a Direct Grant and Partnership Funding for the same project, if suitable. For example, you may have an idea that involves both tree planting and ways to improve how we grow and plant trees through research or workforce initiatives.

Overview of each fund

The type of fund you choose will depend on your project.

For landowners

If you’re a landowner there are 2 options:

  • grants from the One Billion Trees Fund to contribute to the cost of planting trees or retiring your land to native forest. There are 4 grant categories available, with additional top-ups in special cases.
  • partnerships funding from the One Billion Trees Fund to contribute to project support costs for large-scale or catchment planting (planting around waterways).

Find out more

Direct Grants for tree planting from the One Billion Trees Fund

Partnership Funding from the One Billion Trees Fund

For organisations and landowner collectives

Organisations can apply for Partnership Funding for new ideas that support or improve the way we plant and grow trees. This can be through research, technology and innovation, workforce initiatives, seedling and nursery production, or by providing project support for catchment restoration initiatives.

Partnership arrangements can include a collective of Māori landowners who can combine land under a trust, and have one trust work on behalf of the collective to achieve greater scale in tree planting projects. They can also include a group of neighbours with smaller properties combining their land resources to apply for funding to plant a forest.

For community groups and other organisations

Partnership Funding from the One Billion Trees Fund is available to communities for new ideas that support tree planting, improve how we grow and plant trees, or for catchment planting projects.

Communities can apply for funding to plant living memorials honouring the contribution of past and present members of the New Zealand Defence Force through Matariki Tu Rākau.

For larger applications

Applications for planting on more than 300ha will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is important to note that Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service does not support whole farm conversions. In addition to being assessed for whole-farm conversion risk, large scale projects will also be expected to meet a broad range of the fund's objectives.

We are likely to request additional information from you if your application is considered to be large-scale. Applications for over 300ha – or where the likely grant amount is greater than $500,000 – are considered by an external advisory panel as part of the assessment process. Therefore, the usual 8-week timeframe for processing applications is likely to be extended.

For large applications or multiple applications from the same applicant (over 300ha) we may reduce the funding rate. We will discuss this with you during the assessment process.

For forestry companies

The One Billion Trees Fund is different from previous afforestation funds in that it aims to provide flexible funding to help plant the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose.

The fund is contestable, which means that not all applications will be successful.

Applications are assessed against:

  • land and project criteria
  • the likely success of the planting project
  • contribution to the fund's objectives that relate to transforming New Zealand’s forests in a way that improves our environment, social outcomes for our people, and economic performance in our regions.

Applications that meet multiple fund objectives are more likely to be successful.

A key focus of the fund is to support planting that would not otherwise occur. When assessing applications we will consider whether the planting is likely to go ahead without government funding. This assessment will be based on both the applicant and the project context. It is unlikely you will receive funding if your core business involves tree planting (for example, if you are a commercial forester, or if any party to the application has commercial forestry interests).

If you are unsure about your eligibility for funding:

Find out more

Partnership Funding from the One Billion Trees Fund

Matariki Tu Rākau fund – community funding for memorial tree planting

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