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Natural Heritage Fund

Apply for funding

The Natural Heritage Fund is to assist private landowners to protect or enhance indigenous biodiversity on their land.

The fund is made available instead of rates remissions on a limited number of properties. Biodiversity protection and enhancement is a core activity of regional and unitary councils.

Any privately owned land within the Gisborne district is eligible for funding.

There's up to $100,000 funding available for one or more projects. Applications are ranked on biodiversity merit and approved to the extend of available funds.

Applications are closed now and will re-open 1 August 2022.

Eligible activities include:

  • permanent stock exclusion fencing (excluding maintenance of existing fences) for the purpose of allowing natural regeneration
  • purchase of locally sourced native plants and trees where new planting is to be carried out voluntarily
  • other practical protection measures will also be considered

To apply for funding

Check if you meet the eligibility criteria and complete the application form. Check the information required with your application.

  • Any privately owned land within the Gisborne district is eligible.
  • There must be no overdue rates or other outstanding charges owed to Council.
  • Projects must show long-term landowner commitment to enhancing biodiversity, but the project is likely to be unsuccessful in securing funding through central government.
  • At least 50% of the total cost of the project is to come from an alternative source.
  • There must be a demonstrated ongoing commitment to maintain the natural area eg. stock exclusion, plant and animal pest control where necessary.
  • Written permission of the landowner(s) must be received with any application.
  • Activities required by resource consent or rules under Gisborne statutory plans are ineligible.
  • The grant will not be retrospective.

Your application must include the following:

  • the location and address of the land, including the valuation assessment number of the properties
  • name and contact details of the landowner(s)
  • the aim of your project in the immediate and longer term (provide as much detail as possible)
  • a sketch map or aerial photo of the area to be treated
  • a description of what you're going to do to improve indigenous biodiversity values
  • the estimated total cost of the project funding
  • other funding secured (must be up to 50% of project costs) and can include landowner investment
  • the projected benefits expected of the project once fully implemented eg. educational opportunities, enhancement of wildlife
  • the plans for long-term management of the indigenous biodiversity values
  • the name and contact details of the person or group coordinating the project

Applications will be ranked on biodiversity merit and approved to the extent of available funds.

In 2020 the Cave family at Ngatapa received $5,000 towards the construction of a stock proof fence around a significant area of remnant bush on their property at Sunworth Station. The family’s goal was to protect the 3ha area of native trees which was found to contain pittosporum obcordatum, an ‘at risk’ species of pittosporum. Through fencing, pest control and supplementary planting of eco-sourced seedlings, the long-term future of this unique ecosystem looks good.

Paul and Sarah Williams of Turihaua Angus Stud successfully secured funding to plant 4 water reservoirs. They received $13,000 which helped provide for 6 hectares of native wetland and tree species to be planted along the riparian margins of the reservoirs. The plantings are now well established and this work has formed part of their overall Turihaua Stream restoration plan.

Grahame and Anne Maclaurin were successful in securing funding to fence off and plant around an existing 2ha area of remnant semi coastal native forest on Waipura Station. The total land area to be protected as part of the project will be 5ha including a wetland area.  The project is considered to play a significant role in forming a linkage for biodiversity between a cluster of 4 protection management areas and other small bush remnants within a 2km radius of the site.

Pania and Eugene King successfully secured funding to fence off and plant 2 wetland areas on Kiriroa Station at Motu.  The natural wetlands have had stock excluded and weeds removed including willows to restore the wetland ecosystem. Weka will benefit from the additional habitat as well as the pest control regime that is being undertaken with the help of pupils from Motu School.