Afforestation Grant Scheme

Find out about the scheme's progress since 2015 and how to claim for an existing approved grant. No new grant applications are being accepted because the Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) has been replaced by the One Billion Trees Fund. 

AGS has been replaced

In December 2018, the AGS was replaced by the One Billion Trees Fund.

One Billion Trees Fund

Goals of the scheme

The Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) is a funding programme designed to help establish 15,000 hectares of new forest in New Zealand between 2015 and 2020. This is to help:

  • reduce soil erosion – forest cover is the best form of erosion control. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) estimates that 1.1 million hectares of land is at serious risk of erosion
  • improve land-use productivity and boost regional economic development
  • store carbon and improve water quality.

To help reach those goals, MPI provided grants of $1,300 a hectare for growers to plant new small to medium-sized forests (5 hectares to 300 hectares). Up to $19.5 million was available.

AGS progress since launch

Between 2015 and 2018, MPI held 4 funding rounds for AGS.  Through these 4 rounds, all available funding was committed. Planting of all approved grants will continue until 2020.

The AGS has helped landowners achieve positive economic outcomes by:

  • helping them plant trees on erosion-prone land
  • regenerating indigenous forests
  • reducing some of the high costs associated with marginal land.

New forests established by the AGS since 2015 have also delivered environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, and absorbing around 1.9 million tonnes of carbon every year.

The scheme was built on earlier success

From 2008 to 2013, just under 12,000 hectares of new forest was planted under a previous AGS scheme. Much of the planting was on erosion-prone land. The plantings improved water quality and reduced the impact of severe flooding.

Download a map showing the forests developed under the original AGS scheme [PDF, 7.8 MB]

Claiming your approved AGS grant

Once your forest is established, you can claim your grant. We'll visit your forest to make sure it's established to the required standard. The plantings must be visually verifiable. If the forest meets the establishment standard, we will pay you the grant for the area established.

If you sell or transfer your forest to someone else within 10 years, you must tell MPI and we will help you transfer your grant agreement to the new owner.

MPI will monitor your forest to make sure it's up to standard. After 10 years, you're free to do as you choose with your forest.

A claim form must be completed and sent to MPI, together with a shapefile or map showing the actual planted area.  You'll also need to complete a creditor form and provide a bank deposit slip to MPI with your claim.

Who to contact

If you are registered under the AGS and have questions about a current or previous grant, email

If you are looking to apply for afforestation-related funding, check our web page about the One Billion Trees Fund or email

One Billion Trees Fund

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