Funding options to help Māori landowners get started in forestry

There’s funding available to help Māori landowners get involved in forestry, or to further develop forestry interests. Options include MAPIP, the One Billion Trees Fund, Hill Country Erosion Fund, Whenua Māori, and He kai kei aku ringa Fund. Find out more about some of the options.

23 December 2020 – Funding application update

We cannot accept any more One Billion Trees applications. The number of applications in progress will exceed the limit of the fund if approved.

If you have applied for funding, we will contact you to discuss your application by the end of January 2021.

Existing signed contracts will progress as scheduled.

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Funding from MPI

Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Primary Productivity (MAPIP)

The Māori Agribusiness Programme offers funding to Māori land owners to understand land use options, including how trees can contribute to their business model and where trees best fit within the overall landscape.

MAPIP applicant guidelines [PDF, 176 KB]

Māori Agribusiness Programme

One Billion Trees Programme

The One Billion Trees Programme offers 2 funding options.

  1. Direct Grants to landowners for tree planting
  2. Partnership Funding
Direct Grants

With Direct Grants, there are options for additional funding top-ups to help planting on erosion-prone land or on land with high land preparation costs, including Māori-owned land or land which is in a surge region (Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui, and the West Coast).

Check the grant categories available for additional funding top-ups

Partnership Funding

This funding is available for landowners, organisations, and communities to work with Te Uru Rākau on projects and initiatives that support tree planting and help improve the way we grow and plant trees.

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.

Hill Country Erosion (HCE) Fund

The HCE Fund is a partnership between owners of erosion-prone land, MPI, and regional councils. It's administered by regional councils, who can apply for up to 4 years of funding at each funding round.

The HCE Fund aims to mitigate coastal erosion, hill country erosion, and alpine or high country erosion.

Erosion Control Funding Programme for Gisborne groups

Funding is available to help community groups, iwi, local organisations, and businesses with innovative ideas to help reduce erosion in the Gisborne region. Projects may involve a community, or be on a regional scale. They may also have other environmental, social, and economic benefits for the region.

A guide to Erosion Control Funding Programme community projects [PDF, 3.4 MB]

Funding from agencies and organisations other than MPI

Adding to this list

This list is not exhaustive. To request adding funds or advisory services to this list, email

Whenua Māori Fund (Te Puni Kōkiri)

The Whenua Māori Fund supports Māori land owners to explore land use and ways of boosting its productivity.

Whenua Māori Fund

Whenua Māori (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)

This fund will help Māori landowners build greater prosperity in the rohe (regions) by supporting investment-ready projects to help unlock the full economic potential of Whenua Māori: Māori-owned land.

Whenua Māori

Provincial Growth Fund (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise)

The Provincial Growth Fund can fund projects that support job creation, including in key sectors and regions, and that power up prosperity and productivity in one or more regions. Read about projects it can fund.

Provincial Growth Fund

Department of Conservation (DOC)

The DOC website has information about other funds.

Apply for funding

Funding from DOC to improve or protect existing indigenous forest

Ngā Whenua Rāhui

The Ngā Whenua Rāhui fund provides protection for Māori landowners through the use of 25-year renewable kawenata (covenants).

Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund

The Mātauranga Kura Taiao Fund seeks to preserve the customs, history and stories associated with Māori land and tikanga.

Nature Heritage Fund

The Nature Heritage Fund is an independent, contestable fund available to all privately owned land with a high biodiversity or ecological value.

Other advice and support

Te Tumu Paeroa

Te Tumu Paeroa is an advisory group working with Māori land owners to make the best of their land. This might involve identifying opportunities, planning and providing ongoing support.

Te Tumu Paeroa

Māori Land Court

If you own or have an interest in Māori land, the Māori Land Court is a judicial forum through which you can interact with other owners or interested people about the current and future use, ownership, occupation and/or management of Māori land.

Māori Land Court


Contact your regional council’s land management team for advice on where to go for funding – some regions have additional funds you can access.

Find Council contact information - Local Government New Zealand

Industry bodies

Talk to industry bodies in your region.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Farm Forestry Association

Dairy NZ

New Zealand Forest Owners’ Association

Tane’s Tree Trust

Case studies for Māori forestry funding

One Billion Trees funding for the Ngāti Hine Trust

Up to 465 hectares of mānuka will be planted on Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust land to establish a large commercial mānuka plantation and beekeeping business to help diversify land use.

The programme will provide work experience for up to 40 young people and help them build a strong foundation for a forestry career. There's potential for the training programme to be used in other regions.

This initiative supports the Trust’s plans to establish and grow future opportunities for higher skilled and better paid jobs in Northland. It'll help create economic resilience in the region and improve the quality of Ngāti Hine’s land for future generations.

In early 2018, Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) and Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust also signed a land rental agreement to plant and manage approximately 3,600 hectares of commercial forest in the Far North. This will provide another boost to the local economy and bring employment opportunities and better social outcomes for the whole region.

In 2018, 500,000 pine trees were planted, with a further 2 million trees to be planted over the next 3 years.

SLMACC funding for Nuhiti Q carbon farming

A 3-year carbon farming research project was funded by MPI through a grant from the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) Research Programme. It brought together Ruatoria charitable company Hikurangi Enterprises, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust, and Victoria University of Wellington to investigate how communities and landowners can use carbon markets to encourage profitable native forest regeneration.

Nuhiti Q, a 1,000ha sheep and cattle farm near Tokomaru Bay, entered the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2012, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2020. It has converted 500ha of existing native forest for use in carbon farming, as well as planting a further 70ha of exotic Eucalypt species. The income they received from the ETS, along with profits from their manuka honey, oil and nut products, offset the retirement of grazing land.

Under an innovative partnership, they also generated more income by forward-trading 12,000 carbon credits generated from these plantings to Gull NZ. They’ve used the income earned from that to further develop and diversify the farm.

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