Direct landowner grants from the One Billion Trees Fund

These grants are designed to provide incentives and reduce the barriers to planting trees. Find out about them and how to apply.

Follow these steps to apply for a grant

Step 1
Check what grants are available

You can apply for grants in any or all of the tree planting categories.

Grants available by planting type

All grant rates in the table are per hectare (ha). 

Type of planting Size Base rate Top-ups available*
Erosion prone land or land in areas that support regional development goals Fencing Ecological restoration partnership projects
Indigenous mix
(for example, a mix of native trees and shrubs)
1ha to 300ha $4,000 $500 Up to $500 Up to $2,000
(particularly for erosion control or as a nurse crop for an indigenous forest)
5ha to 300ha $1,800 $500 N/A N/A
Indigenous natural regeneration
(for example, retiring land and managing it to naturally return back to trees)
5ha to 300ha $1,000 $500 Up to $500 NA
(for example, planting eucalypts, redwoods, or Pinus radiata)
5ha to 300ha $1,500 $500 N/A N/A

N/A = Not applicable

*Top-ups available

Your project may be eligible for top-up rates if you are:

  • assisting regeneration or planting mixed indigenous species and fencing is needed to protect your planting – up to 50% of actual and reasonable costs of fencing (capped at $500/ha)
  • planting on land with a high or very high erosion risk or land in areas that support regional development goals that faces very high establishment costs – up to $500/ha
  • a partnership planting project with ecological restoration objectives – up to $2,000/ha and help with other project costs. 

Read the partnership fund eligibility criteria

How we define erosion prone and surge regions

Erosion prone

You may be eligible for a top up if your land is high or very high erosion risk under the Erosion Susceptibility Classification (ESC) or if you provide any other farm-scale mapping or modelling with your application that identifies your land as high erosion risk.

Regional development goals

We can fund projects in any region, but a top-up may apply in priority regions. The regional development goals align with the surge regions identified in the Provincial Growth Fund:

  • Northland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • East Coast
  • Hawke's Bay
  • Manawatu-Whanganui
  • West Coast of the South Island.

The Provincial Growth Fund – the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment website

Land area

You can apply for multiple areas within a single application but each area must be at least one hectare.

We will consider applications to establish more than 300 hectares in one year on a case-by-case basis. We may negotiate lower grant rates.

Download this information as a PDF [PDF, 609 KB]

Step 2
Check your project against the eligibility criteria

For a better chance of success, consider each of the criteria before you prepare your application.

We assess applications using the criteria listed in this table

Criteria Clarification
Right to plant:
  • you must be the owner of the land, or
  • you must have the right to plant on the land.

You may need to give Te Uru Rākau evidence of your right to plant on the land.

Crown agencies are not directly eligible for a grant. Larger or more complex projects with a Crown agency as one partner would be eligible.

You'll need to be able to commit to a minimum period to maintain the area (typically 10 years).  

Planting on forest land.

The land must:

  • not be 'forest land' at the time of application
  • not have been forest land for the last 5 years.

'Forest land' is defined in the Climate Change Response Act 2002 as land that is at least one hectare that has, or is likely to have, tree crown cover from forest species of more than 30% in each hectare.

The definition includes land that does not currently have the required tree crown cover, because of human intervention or natural causes, but is likely to revert to land that meets that requirement.

If, at the date of your application, the land you are applying for is forest land, or has been forest land in the last 5 years, then you must contact us to discuss your project before you submit an application.

You can either:

Right tree, right place, right purpose

To ensure a strong application to this fund, your proposal needs to be consistent with the principle of the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose. You'll need to provide evidence of the suitability of your planting for the site and that it is likely to succeed. This will include a management plan.

Species that have been identified in your regional council's regional pest management strategy or in the unwanted organisms register are not eligible species. Pest species can differ between regions so you may need to contact your council for information specific to your region.

Your choice of species must also comply with any relevant regional and local provisions under the Resource Management Act 1991, as well as the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). The NES-PF requires a suitably qualified person to complete a wilding tree risk calculator assessment if you are planting conifers.

Maximum planted area:
  • 300 hectares in one year.
We will consider funding applications to establish more than 300 hectares in one year on a case-by-case basis.
Minimum canopy width:
  • Plantings/establishment must have an average minimum canopy width of 30 metres.
An exception to this is tree planting in riparian areas (planting along waterways), which may be narrower than 30 metres. Such an application will need to be supported by a credible riparian management plan, or equivalent.
Stems per hectare:
  • Plantings/establishment will need to be consistent with good practice and planting objectives.
We will discuss these requirements with you during the application process.

Tree species:

  • must be capable of growing to at least 5 metres in height at maturity where they are located
  • must not be grown or managed primarily for the production of fruit or nut crops.

Non-tree species (such as shrubs) are an accepted component of mixed indigenous plantings, where that is consistent with good planting practice.

Mānuka/kānuka can be funded to provide cover for erosion control or a nurse crop for an indigenous forest.

Honey production can occur but the planted area should be managed to reach 5 metres in height. 

Plantings/establishment must not receive other funding from the One Billion Trees Fund for the same tree planting activity. Funding from other sources is allowed (such as from regional councils, philanthropic, or other central agency funding). You must declare it and funding cannot exceed the cost of the activity.  
Management plans for natural regeneration 

If you are applying for funding for natural regeneration, you will need a management plan which sets out the change of management practice that will occur to enable reversion to occur.

This may include:  

  • stock-proof fencing, stock exclusion, and pest animal control to keep the grant area free of pest animal damage to regenerating native species
  • weed control to keep the grant area free of weed competition.
Te Uru Rākau will assess whether the area has the potential to revert, given the management changes set out in a management plan and available local seed sources. Supplementary planting may be strongly recommended, based on an assessment of the availability of a natural seed source.  
Natural regeneration To be eligible for natural regeneration, the area must have an adequate seed source nearby. A rule of thumb is that unstocked areas should be less than 100 metres from a parent seed source for reversion to be successful.

Grants and the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) 

If you receive a grant, you may also be able to register in the ETS. 

  • Being eligible for a grant does not guarantee that your trees will be eligible for the ETS. 
  • If your trees are eligible to be registered in the ETS, then you can register immediately, unless you are planting Pinus radiata.
  • If you are planting Pinus radiata, then you will not be able to register your forest in the ETS for 6 years from, and including, the year of planting.

If you are interested in registering your grant area in the ETS in the future, then we can provide you with more information about the ETS and its specific eligibility criteria.

Step 3
Apply for a grant

We will take applications for grants year-round. 

Prepare your application

Ensure you have read the eligibility and grants criteria and have the relevant evidence and information to submit as part of your application.

Download the application form [DOCX, 111 KB]

Sample application forms

You can apply for a partnership grant on the same form. 

Submit your application

Send your completed application to

Next steps

We aim to acknowledge that we have received and logged your application within 10 days.

Te Uru Rākau may contact you if we need any further supporting information or clarification.

Once the application is approved, we will develop a contract with you.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have any questions or want to discuss potential opportunities:

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