The purpose of this fund is to encourage innovative community, school or business projects that support the Council's vision and strategic priorities.

Apply for the Innovation and Sustainability Fund

Applications can be made at any time throughout the year until funds are exhausted. 

Applicants can generally expect decisions to be made within two months, depending on the scale of the grant requested.

Successful and unsuccessful applications will be public information. If there are aspects of your application that should be kept out of the public domain in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, you should clearly show this in your application.

The Council’s vision is for Christchurch to be a city of opportunity, open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things, a city where anything is possible.

The Council’s strategic priorities focus on:

  • active citizenship
  • climate change leadership
  • energy and water efficiency
  • waste minimisation
  • active and public transport
  • healthy waterways
  • resilience to natural hazards
  • creating a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable twenty-first century city.

View previous funded projects

Important dates

It may be useful to keep these upcoming dates in mind when preparing your application.

Due to the local government elections, Councillors will not meet in late 2019. Therefore, the last deadline in 2019 for applications over $10,000 will be 23 August. 

You are welcome to submit applications any time throughout the year. Staff will continue to make funding decisions on applications up to and including $10,000. We will hold all other applications until early in the new year when the new Council resumes.


Your application deadline

Council decision on your application

All applications 25 July 2019 26 August 2019
All applications 23 August 2019 23 September 2019
Applications up to and including $10,000 25 October 2019 15 November
Applications up to and including $10,000 21 December 2019 24 January

Who can apply

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Community organisations, social enterprises and businesses can apply to this fund. Preference will be given to Christchurch-based organisations or partnerships involving Christchurch organisations. Generally, applications lead by central, regional or local government organisations will not be considered. Partnerships involving government organisations are acceptable.
  • Applicants seeking up to and including $10,000 can be made by an individual, however applications from legal entities (per the below bullet point) are preferred. 
  • Applicants seeking more than $10,001 must be a legal entity registered in New Zealand such as an incorporated society, charitable trust or limited liability company.  Individuals seeking funding will need to partner with a legal entity and include an endorsement letter from that legal entity in the application. 
  • This fund will not support projects principally advancing commercial or personal gain. Proposals must deliver a public good or environmental outcome for Christchurch.
  • Only one application per project will be accepted each Council financial year (July to June). Organisations may put forward more than one project in a year. 
  • This fund is intended to deliver tangible outcomes that benefit Christchurch. Funding will generally not be allocated to projects solely undertaking investigations such as scoping, research or feasibility. 
  • Applicants should have made efforts to secure funding from other sources before applying to this fund.

How proposals will be assessed

Proposals will be assessed against the following evaluation criteria and how they respond to the Council’s vision and strategic priorities.  Applications should consider how they meet each of the following criteria: 

Evaluation criteria Explanation
Innovation The project is a new idea or locally applies good ideas and approaches from elsewhere or supports innovation in Christchurch. 
Sustainability The project addresses a sustainability issue or opportunity of particular importance to Christchurch. Consideration will be given to the nature or scale of benefits provided and the significance of the issue or opportunity being addressed by the project.
Legacy The project will be able to deliver benefits beyond the funding period, it can have enduring benefits or can be self-sustaining. 
Deliverable The applicant is able to successfully deliver the project and achieve the stated outcomes (e.g. the applicant has the required skills, experience, resources or support to complete the project).
Measurable The project will result in measureable benefits or outcomes for Christchurch that will be monitored and reported on at the completion of the project.

Applications will be considered by the Council’s Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee. 

View the Committee’s membership and terms of reference.

What funding is available

A total of $400,000 per year has been allocated by the Council until 2025. 

To enable swift decision making, applications seeking up to and including $10,000 will be approved by the Head of Urban Regeneration, Urban Design and Heritage. Applications seeking between $10,001 and $100,000 will be delegated to the Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee, and Council approval will be required for Committee funding recommendations over $100,001. 

Generally the fund will provide no more than 60 per cent of the project costs with the remainder to come from other sources. These can include in-kind contributions such as time or resources supplied to the project by others. In general, funds allocated should be spent within twelve months of being received. Multi-year applications can be considered provided the business case is compelling and progress reports for milestones are provided.

Funds can be requested for operational aspects (e.g. staff time) and for materials or equipment needed to successfully deliver the project outcomes.

Organisations that are GST registered should be aware that this grant is an unconditional gift and does not attract GST.

Other funds to consider before applying

Applicants are encouraged to approach other funds that may be more suited to specific proposals.

What is not eligible for funding

The following will not generally be funded:

  • projects solely undertaking investigations such as scoping, research or feasibility.
  • retrospective costs incurred or settled before the agreed commencement date of the funding agreement
  • debt servicing or re-financing costs
  • stock or capital market investment
  • gambling or prize money
  • payment of any legal expenditure, including costs or expenditures related to mediation disputes or ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Professional or Disciplinary Body hearings 
  • payment of fines, court costs, mediation costs, IRD penalties or retrospective tax payments
  • purchase of land and buildings 
  • purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance, repair, overhead costs or road user charges 
  • activities or initiatives where the primary purpose is to promote religious ministry, political objectives, commercial or profit-oriented interests
  • medical or healthcare costs, including treatment and insurance fees
  • fundraising 
  • money that will be redistributed as grant funding, sponsorship, donations, bequests, aid funding or aid to other recipients
  • entertainment costs, catering/food or private social functions 
  • air travel, accommodation, hotel/motel expenses
  • conference fees and costs 
  • projects that have received other Council funding in the same financial year 
  • projects that are considered to be the primary responsibility of local or central government or another funding body.