Assessment criteria for Partnership Funding projects

We assess your application on its economic, environmental, or social benefits. And we'll want to see how well it contributes to the wider aims of the One Billion Trees Programme and the Provincial Growth Fund.

Check you meet the criteria

Your application should show how your project fits with some or all of these criteria.

1. Contribution to broader outcomes

Your project should have economic, environmental, or social benefits.

Show your project has the potential to contribute to one or more of these goals:

  • Economic benefits to regional economies, including new jobs, through forestry and tree planting activities.
  • New ideas and increased productivity in forestry and related sectors.
  • Better support of Māori aspirations to use their land and resources through trees and forestry.
  • Helping our environment by planting trees and forests, especially by reducing erosion and improving water quality.
  • Improving native biodiversity through the restoration of natural forest.
  • More jobs, training, or work readiness for the forestry and land management workforce.

We’ll also consider how your project will contribute to:

  • New Zealand’s ability to meet its climate change obligations through the establishment of trees
  • better-informed tree planting decisions, through improved information, advice, and support for landowners
  • diversification of land uses, including native forestry and continuous canopy forestry
  • enhancing New Zealand's natural assets.

2. Connections to regional stakeholders, networks, or frameworks

Provide evidence of:

  • connections with regional networks and local support (from councils or iwi, for example)
  • discussions or agreement with relevant local stakeholders.

We'll consider how your proposal:

  • aligns with or supports local development plans (like regional council plans), Māori development plans, or similar strategic documents
  • shows how regional connectivity will improve as a result of your project
  • uses local contributions, including funding from commercial and non-commercial partnerships.

3. Project management criteria

Ability to deliver

Provide details of how the project will be delivered, including planning, financial planning, and the relevant expertise of the project team.

Suitable project governance

Provide evidence of robust project governance, including identifying potential conflicts of interest and how they'll be mitigated.

Demonstration of risk management

Show you've identified:

  • any risks posed by the project, including health and safety risks
  • technical and delivery risks
  • how risks might be mitigated.

We must be satisfied that the level of residual risk is acceptable, and that the funding asked for is appropriate for this level of risk.

4. Level of co-funding from the applicant and third parties (typically 50%)

Provide evidence of:

  • your co-funding
  • third-party funding.

We'll take into account your commitment to the project as shown by your level of co-funding.

5. Value for money

Provide a detailed budget for the project, making it clear what we're being asked to fund.

We’ll take into account what other funding sources have been explored and whether more funding will be needed after this project.

Your application should show a good return on investment or benefits that are economic, environmental, or social.

We'll consider the overall value of the outcomes of the successful project.

6. Ability to achieve additional public benefits

Show there'll be social, economic, or environmental benefits as a result of our investment.

We won't fund a project that:

  • is already underway
  • involves maintenance of core infrastructure
  • covers activities already funded.

7. If your project includes tree planting

If your project includes tree planting, it may also meet the eligibility criteria for a Direct Grant.

Check the assessment criteria for a Direct Grant

Ask us if you're unsure

The One Billion Trees Fund is designed to be flexible. If you're unsure whether your proposed project meets these criteria, email

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