Providing support to custodians of biodiversity through a contestable fund of up to $400,000 per annum.

Purpose of the fund

  • To protect areas of significant ecological value on private land within the boundaries of Christchurch City Council; 
  • To support and encourage initiatives that protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on private land. 
  • To share total costs for fencing, native planting, pest animal and pest plant control on a Council/Landowner funding ratio of 50:50.   

Interested in applying?

Contact us for pre-application advice and assistance.

Please e-mail us at, or phone 03 941 6851 to find out about closing dates, and for information about eligibility and how the funding process works.

You can use this guide to submit an application without contacting us, but we are happy to help. Communicating with applicants early in the process also helps ensure we have all the information we need to present to the funding committee.

Printable guide [DOCX, 37 KB] and printable application form [DOCX, 16 KB].

Funding and eligibility

Who can apply?

An applicant must be a legal entity with the capacity to contract to the Council:

  • Individual
  • Rūnanga
  • Businesses
  • Trusts
  • Societies
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Landcare groups

Landowners may apply to the fund directly, or others (such as a community groups or trusts) can apply on behalf of landowners. If applying on behalf of a landowner, the applicant must supply the landowner’s agreement in writing. Projects must be on private land.

Who can’t apply?

Government organisations or their staff cannot apply. Projects cannot be on public land.

How much can I apply for?

The Council will fund up to $60,000 for individual projects from a total contestable fund of $400, 000 per annum. Successful applicants have up to five years to spend their grant.

Can I apply to other grants?

Yes. This Fund may be used in conjunction with other grants. Funding from sources other than the Christchurch City Council may be counted towards the 50% landowner contribution.

Applying and reporting

What you need to provide with your application

 Please complete the application form [DOCX, 16 KB] and provide the required supporting documentation. Supporting documentation includes:

  • A map, photographs and/or plans showing the project area.
  • Written permission from the landowner(s), if the applicant is not the landowner.
  • A biodiversity management plan for the site. This plan must cover the specific project area, but may also include other parts of the property. For example, you may already have a management plan developed for a covenant or a Beef and Lamb Farm Environment Plan that includes biodiversity management information. A template/table is included in the application, and you can use this to provide a simple management plan.
  • Quotes for materials, plants, contractors etc. is highly recommended, but not required. Providing quotes is helpful both to you and to us, as it provides assurance that the project can be achieved with the funding requested.

Accessing funding

The project can start from the agreed start date, providing any conditions have been met. If you are awarded funding we will discuss project-specific arrangements, including requirements for receipts etc. We will ask you to provide banking details so we can raise a purchase order for your funding, and you will need to provide us with one or more invoices.

Your reporting requirements

A projects’ end date is five years from the date of the grant being approved. Progress reports should be provided annually until the grant is fully spent. A final report must also be submitted with the final invoice. Your report does not need to be long or complex. Progress reports Progress reports should include the following information, as relevant for your project:

Fencing and planting: Please take at least three “before” photographs within a month of work commencing, and corresponding “after” photographs from the same points upon completion of any work supported by the Biodiversity Fund.

Pest animal control:

  • a map of the location of traps and/or bait stations
  • a description of the control method
  • a standard measure of the implementation/success of the control e.g. date, number of baits laid, number of baits taken, residual trap catch, tracking tunnel rates 

Pest plant control:

  • a pre-control map of the location of pest plants within the project area
  • a description of the control method(s)
  • documentation of the implementation/success of the control e.g. map of area where weeds have been controlled, change in adult:juvenile ratio in the control area, before and after photographs

Funding criteria

What are the funding criteria?

To be awarded funding, a project must:

  • Achieve positive biodiversity outcomes
  • Be on private land, or on land which is defined under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 as customary land 
  • Be identified as a Site of Ecological Significance (SES) on Schedule A or B of the Christchurch City District Plan, or meet the criteria for an SES within the Christchurch City District Plan and have an agreed site of ecological significance statement; we can arrange assessment as part of the application process
  • Have a management plan (a simple management plan can be included as part of the funding application)

These criteria ensure that we support work at sites which have robust documentation of their ecological value, and also have some level of long-term protection through SES designation in the District Plan. This safeguards the biodiversity gains made through landowners’ efforts and through the joint financial investment in the project.

What the fund can be used for

The fund will pay for reasonable costs on a Council:Applicant/Landowner ratio of 50:50 relating to:

  • Personnel
  • Volunteers
  • Contractors
  • Equipment hire
  • Donation of equipment
  • Health and safety
  • Consumables

Note that the landowner 50% contribution may comprise a direct financial contribution, funding from external sources other than the Christchurch City Council, and/or in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions must be appropriately costed and accounted for in the application.

If you are not GST registered, you should apply for the GST-inclusive amount of funding you need. If you are GST registered, you will need to confirm with us whether your application is GST-inclusive or –exclusive.

Examples of what you can apply for





Wages/salaries of all the people directly involved in the project.

Employ a part-time project manager to work 10 hours per week at a rate of $25 per hour; total cost $2500.


Contractors who will undertake the fencing, pest control.

Contractors may need to be approved by the Council before being engaged.

Employ a fencing contractor at $40   per hour for 10 days; total cost $3000.


40 volunteers attend four planting days and spend 3 hours per day planting trees, a total of 480 hours.

480 hours x $20.20/hr; total   estimated in-kind contribution $9696.

Equipment hire, purchase of permanent   materials

Rental and leasing of equipment or purchase plants for the project. Bait stations and traps.

Lease or hire a vehicle or trailer for half a day to remove pest plants at $40 per day; total cost $20.

20 Goodnature traps $140 each; total cost $2800.

Donation of equipment

A local company donates the use of a post-hole borer for which they normally charge $300 per day; you use it 5   times over 12 months

$1500 estimated in-kind contribution.

Consumables (individual items costing less than $100 per item)

bait, sprays, flagging tape, nails

20 bottles of lure $9 each; total cost $180.

Examples of what you cannot apply for




Costs prior to the project start date

Retrospective costs incurred in delivering the project will be paid on receipts dated from the project start date.

Receipts dated before the project start date.

Purchase of capital assets and other   capital costs

Capital expenditure that is not essential to the project, including the cost of bringing new assets to working order, or any associated labour and lease expenses e.g. the purchase or maintenance of buildings.

You may want to store consumables in a shed.


Maintenance of existing fences

You may need to maintain your fences.

Filling out your application

If your project site has not been assessed as a Site of Ecological Significance (on either Schedule A or B), please contact the City Council ( before applying. We can help you determine whether your site is likely to be eligible for funding, and may be able to provide a full ecological assessment.

Site and applicant information

In addition to some basic site and contact details, please indicate your preferred start date. Start dates need to be within our financial year (July 1 – 30 June).

Project actions

In the “Aims” section of the application, please describe the aim(s) of the project and what kind of work will be involved. It is helpful to provide target timeframes and explain how you will demonstrate the project’s success. For example:

  • “We will remove stock grazing and construct a 500m long fence by end of March 2020.” (You can illustrate this by attaching a map of the planned fenceline.)
  • “We will control possums to < 5% RTC by mid-November, using a network of Timms traps deployed in a 100m grid pattern within the project area.”
  • “We will control pest plants (state which pests or refer to an attached list) by the end of March 2020 to decrease the adult:juvenile ratio as per the map provided.”
  • “We will plant eco-sourced native species over 3ha as indicated on the map provided by the end of May 2020.”

Project actions should follow best practise guidelines for things like trap spacing and ecosourcing. If you are using a professional contractor, they can provide both a plan and evidence to show that best practise has been followed. If you are not using a contractor, a variety of resources are available to help you plan your project. A good starting point is the resource centre at link), or you can ask for advice from our biodiversity and ranger staff.

Project costs and funding

Please use the tables provided to show the total cost of the project, how the council’s contribution will be used, and how you are covering the 50% landowner contribution. The landowner’s contribution can comprise third-party funding and/or in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions must be costed appropriately so we can ensure the application is meeting the 50:50 criteria of the Fund. Here is an example using the application tables:


Add up the total costs for contractors, equipment, miscellaneous, including costs that will be covered by other external funds and in-kind contributions.

Council contribution Applicant/landowner in-kind contribution Applicant/landowner cash contribution Funding from other external sources Total cost
$6100 $5000 $600 $500 $12,200

Cost Breakdown (expand tables as needed):

Contractors (Contract estimate of hours, hourly rate) $
Jane’s Weedwarriors - contract for pest plant control

Employ 2 contractors from Jane’s Weedwarriors for 200 hours at $25 per hour to cut/stump treat all sycamore trees (>1.35m)
and saplings (>50cm) within the area shown on Map X.
Total contractor costs $5000


Equipment purchase, hire or rent; health and safety equipment; plants; permanent materials $
Purchase 400 eco-sourced plants $2000
Total equipment/permanent materials costs $2000


Miscellaneous, consumables $
Purchase spray for pre-treatment of planting site (include amount) $200
Total miscellaneous/consumables costs $200


Estimated applicant/landowner in-kind contributions:

Volunteer time (number of hours and equivalent hourly pay rate), use/donation of equipment, funding from non-City Council external sources
Volunteer hours for site preparation and planting days (250 hours total volunteer hours from landowners and other volunteers as arranged by applicant, @ $20/hr equivalent) $5000
Total landowner/applicant in-kind contribution $5000

Site of ecological significance statement

If your project site is a Schedule A or B Site of Ecological Significance in the Christchurch District Plan, you do not need to supply a copy of the completed Significance Statement. However, you may wish to use material from the Statement to help develop your Management Plan. Appendix of the District Plan(external link) includes links to statements for all sites in the two schedules.

If your project site is not on either Schedule, please email the Council Biodiversity Fund administrator to clarify whether the site has been identified as a potential site of interest. We may be able to provide an assessment of significance as part of your application.

Biodiversity management plan

The Biodiversity Management Plan provides an overview of how the applicant intends to protect and enhance biodiversity at the project site over a longer time period than the five years of the project funding.

If you already have a management plan for a covenant that includes the project area, a farm biodiversity plan, or a farm environment plan (such as Beef and Lamb’s FEP) with a biodiversity component, you can use that. If you have a site significance statement, you may wish to use some of the items in the management recommendations to create a simple management plan. Your plan needs to cover at least the project site, but can extend to the whole property.

 Here is an example of a simple biodiversity management action plan for a project site:

Biodiversity Management Action Plan

Aim Action(s) Measures of progress Month/Year
To protect native vegetation by reducing grazing Fence 2km around the area on the map Photopoints of fencing Feb 2020
To protect habitat by removing pest plants Pest plant removal by a contractor Photopoints, mapping of areas where pest plants have been removed. Sept – Nov 2020
To protect native vegetation by reducing possum densities Using traps set at 100m intervals throughout the project site Residual trap catch < 5% December 2025 (future project)

Where to send your application

Email to

Or post your application to:

Christchurch Biodiversity Fund
PO Box 73016
Christchurch 8154

Application closing dates

Please email us at, or phone 03 941 6851 to find out when the next closing date is.

We normally have at least two closing dates per year but we can consider bringing applications to the funding committee at other times as well.