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Environmental Initiatives Fund

The Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF) provides one-off grants to projects which directly enhance and/or benefit the environment or provide environmental education.

Open/close dates

Applications open: 1 July 2020, 9:00 am
Applications close: 27 July 2020, 5:00 pm

What types of projects may be funded?

  • Local environmental restoration projects
  • Practical environmental initiatives that involve community participation
  • Educational or promotional activities that raise awareness of environmental issues

How much can you apply for?

Up to $40,000. Projects may be funded for up to three years. However, the total project grant may not exceed $40,000.

Information for applicants - please read first

Assessment criteria

Applications are assessed by Waikato Regional Council's staff according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • Fit with Council’s regional outcomes and policies – how the project contributes to Council’s LTP outcomes and resource management policies.
  • Environmental enhancement – a clear need for the project, and how the project will directly promote, enhance or protect the Waikato region’s environment.
  • Community participation & awareness – how the project involves iwi Maaori, the wider community and increases public awareness of environmental issues.
  • Innovation/uniqueness – how unique or special is the project and/or does the project benefit threatened species or habitats?
  • Collaboration and partnership – whether the applicants have explored and developed any opportunities for collaboration and partnership with others resulting in contributory funding from other parties.
  • Applicant contribution – whether the applicant is actively involved in the project and making a contribution in the form of materials, labour, advisory role, education or financial contribution.
  • Viability – the likelihood of the project’s success and the applicant’s capability to deliver the outcomes of the project. Desirable attributes include a robust project plan, a project budget providing visibility of all funding sources for the project and a clear method for monitoring the success of the project.
  • Budget - does the project represent value for money and is the applicant actively involved in the project and making a contribution in the form of materials, labour, advisory role, education or financial contribution.
  • Value to Mana Whenua – how the project involves iwi Maaori including their cultural values, interests and associations, the effect on Maaori historic heritage or the relationship of Maaori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga including fauna and flora.

Who can apply?

A wide range of organisations are eligible to apply for EIF funding. They include:

  • Community groups
  • Iwi/hapu
  • Kaitiaki groups
  • Incorporated societies
  • Community trusts
  • Resident and ratepayer groups
  • Territorial authorities
  • Landowner groups (e.g. Landcare or Streamcare groups)
  • Tertiary education institutions
  • Businesses and industries

Organisations must be a legal entity with a proven track record of delivering environmental enhancement/education projects that satisfies the Waikato Regional Council.


Any successful applicant can only receive funding once per financial year (1 July – 30 June) from any of the Natural Heritage Partnership Programme funds (Natural Heritage Fund, Environmental Initiatives Fund or Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund).

What cannot be funded?

  • Projects located outside the Waikato region
  • Debt repayment
  • Projects receiving funding from other Waikato Regional Council programmes
  • Projects which are core business of other agencies
  • Travel, conference, legal or accounting expenses
  • Landscaping, food gardening and wildlife pond projects
  • Proposals designed to generate personal or commercial profit
  • Purchase of large capital items of equipment or infrastructure
  • Any works/activities that are required as conditions of a resource consent
  • Projects that require but have not been granted resource consent
  • Retrospective costs
  • Land purchase

How are the applications assessed?

Council staff will assess the applications with recommendations being forwarded to Council’s Finance Committee for the final decision. If the Fund is oversubscribed, we will prioritise applications that best meet the criteria above. Projects may also be part-funded. There is no obligation on the Committee to allocate the total amount in the Fund if insufficient qualifying applications are received.

Previous grants

View a list of projects that received EIF funding in previous years.

Further information

Contact Judy van Rossem on 07 859 0893 or send us a message.