Partnership grants from the One Billion Trees Fund

These grants focus on partnerships between organisations and groups to enable an increase in tree planting – whether through research, innovation, or sector development. Find out more about them and how to apply.

Follow the steps

Step 1
Check the priority areas for funding

We will give priority to projects that focus on one or more of these areas. 

Priority areas for funding

Priority area What we want to know
Labour or workforce development Will the project result in increased availability of labour to establish, plant and maintain trees, or an upskilled workforce?
Information (advice and support)

Will the project result in increased advice and support for landowners through improved information, technical advice, or extension services?

Tree planting and restoration on a large scale (likely to involve multiple landowners within a catchment or landscape)

Will the project contribute to improved environmental outcomes on a greater scale?

Outcomes can include erosion control, fresh water quality, and biodiversity.

Science and innovation Will the project improve our knowledge, expertise, or technology to support growing, planting, and maintaining trees in the right place, for the right purpose?
Seedling production Will the project contribute to increased and more efficient production of seedlings relative to demand and will it deliver a diverse range of tree species?

Other projects will be considered where they will clearly contribute to more trees in the ground, or to getting the right trees, in the right place, for the right purpose.

Who can apply?

Any of the following can apply for funding:

  • individuals
  • non-government organisations
  • Māori organisations
  • charities
  • research organisations
  • councils
  • New Zealand companies.

Foreign-owned companies may be eligible if they are looking to invest in New Zealand.

Central government organisations may be a partner to a project, but not the applicant or direct recipient of funding.

Step 2
Check your application against the assessment criteria

Make sure your application meets the goals of the One Billion Trees Fund.

Assessment criteria 

We will assess your applications for its:

  • contribution to One Billion Trees Fund outcomes
  • links to Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) and wider government outcomes
  • connections to regional stakeholders, networks, or frameworks
  • ability to achieve additional public benefits that could not be achieved without assistance
  • suitable project governance
  • ability to deliver, including appropriate project delivery, relevant expertise of the project team, and compliance with relevant good practice
  • level of co-funding from the applicant and third parties (typically 50%)
  • value for money
  • demonstration of risk management.

If your project includes tree planting, it must also meet the eligibility criteria for a direct landowner grant.

Explanation of the assessment criteria for partnership grants

Criteria What you need to do
Contribution to One Billion Trees outcomes Demonstrate that your project has the potential to contribute to one or more of these outcomes:
  • Increased sustainable regional development through forestry and tree planting activities.
  • Increased productivity and innovation in forestry and related sectors.
  • Improved support of Māori aspirations to utilise their land and resources through trees and forestry.
  • Enhanced environmental sustainability through the establishment of trees and forests, in particular:
    • reduced erosion and improved water quality, particularly in at-risk catchments
    • enhanced indigenous biodiversity through the restoration of natural forest
    • increased employment, training, or work readiness for the forestry and land management workforce.

We will also consider how your project will contribute to these outcomes:

  • 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 productive land uses, including indigenous forestry and continuous canopy forestry. 'Continuous canopy' refers to the system of managing a forest sustainably through selective harvesting of trees so that a canopy or cover is preserved.   
Links to PGF and wider government outcomes Show how your project aligns with these outcomes:
  • Enhance economic development opportunities.
  • Create sustainable jobs.
  • Enable Māori to reach full potential.
  • Boost social inclusion and participation.
  • Build resilient communities.
  • Lift the productivity potential of regions.
  • Help meet New Zealand's climate change targets.
  • Increase employment and productivity.
  • Enhance natural capital.

Learn more about PGF – Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's website

Connections to regional stakeholders, networks, or frameworks

Provide evidence of:

  • connections with regional networks and local support (such as from councils or iwi)
  • discussions or agreement with relevant local stakeholders.

We'll consider how your proposal:

  • aligns with, or is supportive of, 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.
Ability to achieve additional public benefits

Provide evidence that there will be a demonstrable benefit as a result of our investment.

We will not fund a project that is:

  • already underway
  • involves maintenance of core infrastructure 
  • covers activities already funded.
Project governance Provide evidence of robust project governance, including identifying potential conflicts of interest and how they will be mitigated.
Ability to deliver  

Provide details of project execution, including appropriate project delivery, financial planning, and relevant expertise of the project team.  

We’ll consider whether your project demonstrates compliance with relevant good practice, for example, biosecurity guidelines.


Provide evidence of:

  • your co-funding
  • third-party funding.

We'll consider the level of your funding (typically at least 50%) and in-kind contributions relative to the project outcomes.

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

Value for money

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

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

Demonstrate 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.

Risk management  

Show that you have 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.

Download these assessment criteria [PDF, 681 KB]

Step 3
Submit your expression of interest

We will take expressions of interest for partnership grants year-round. 

Prepare your expression of interest (EOI)

Ensure you have aligned your application to the assessment criteria and have the relevant evidence and information to submit as part of your EOI.  

Download the application form [DOCX, 111 KB]

You can apply for a direct landowner grant on the same form. 

Submit your expression of interest

Send your completed application to

Next steps

This is the first step in the process and once we have received your EOI, we will be in touch to discuss your project further

Find out more

Who to contact

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


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