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WWF New Zealand Community Conservation Fund

Closing dates


Always open for applications?


Eligible districts



The WWF Community Conservation Fund is targeted at local community conservation groups based and working in New Zealand engaged in hands-on ecological restoration or conservation. We do not fund national or regional umbrella groups.

This fund used to be called the Habitat Protection Fund. The name has changed, but the criteria and priorities are the same as in 2018.

Go to the WWF website for more information about priorities, eligibilty and instructions on how to apply.

Available to groups or individuals?

Groups may apply


WWF acts as a Local Donation Manager for The Tindall Foundation, a philanthropic family foundation working throughout Aotearoa to support families, community and the environment. We are what’s called TTF’s Environmental Donation Manager meaning that we distribute donations on behalf of TTF to local environmental education and community involvement programmes.

The WWF Community Conservation Fund supports communities to run projects that conserve and restore New Zealand's natural environment - freshwater, coastal, marine, wetlands, forest and dunelands. 


The WWF Community Conservation Fund aims:
• to support community groups delivering local habitat protection and restoration projects protecting and restoring New Zealand’s most vulnerable habitats
• to protect and restore habitats that WWF-New Zealand identifies as a priority
• to promote increased coordination of habitat protection and ecological restoration on a catchment or landscape scale
• to raise awareness of biodiversity and conservation in the wider community
• to encourage communities to become guardians of their environment, becoming active partners in protecting, sustaining and restoring our biodiversity for present and future generations
• to increase the scale and effectiveness of community-led conservation action to achieve this.

Projects funded

·         Freshwater environments and their catchments
·         Coastal and dune systems
·         Wetlands and estuarine systems
·         Lowland and coastal forest and scrub communities
·         Habitats of threatened indigenous species
·         Coastal and inshore marine habitats

Excluded projects

Environmental Education projects by schools in school grounds (Groups seeking funding for EE projects can apply directly to WWF-New Zealand's Environmental Action Fund (EEAF).

Activities funded

·       Development of restoration or management plans (by consultants or staff)
·       Pest control (materials/equipment/contractors)
·       Weed control (materials/equipment/contractors)
·       Costs associated with species translocations or re-introductions including feasibility studies
·       Costs associated with the ongoing running of a nursery if this is the most effective method of securing eco-sourced native plants or can demonstrate increased community involvement or awareness raising
·       Fencing (materials/contractors)
·       Coordinator/project worker/administrator salary costs – subject to clear and transparent governance and management arrangements
·       Eco-sourced plants and associated preparation and maintenance costs
·       Equipment and tools (spades, grubbers, weed eaters)
·       Costs associated with monitoring and evaluation of project outcomes
·       Volunteer expenses; travel costs, refreshments, tools and equipment, training
·       Publicity and promotional materials (posters/leaflets/photos/video production/interpretation signs etc.) and other community outreach and engagement activities that help to raise public awareness of the project in the local community.
·       Skill training (facilitation/equipment/materials)

Excluded activities

·       Projects outside New Zealand
·       Funding for the same or a very similar project for more than 3 years running
·       Capital assets or equipment costing more than $1,500 per item
·       Urgent or retrospective applications
·       Research or academic projects
·       The purchase, repair or construction of buildings
·       Land purchase or costs associated with the purchase of land
·       Costs associated with applications or processes under the Resource Management Act 1991
·       Establishment costs of setting up Incorporated Societies, charities or other bodies
·       Domestic or overseas travel (except volunteer travel costs)
·       Environmental education projects. Groups seeking funding for EE projects can apply directly to WWF-New Zealand’s Environmental Education Action Fund (EEAF)
·       Work that a landowner is required to do by law
·       Sports and recreation activities/projects
·       Drama, art or performing art projects
·       Core education; scholarships, equipment, activities etc.
·       Health, medical, disabilities, equipment expenses
·       Religious or political advocacy or advancement
·       Business or investment capital, expenses etc.

Funds available

Information not available

Upper limit per grant application


Grants made last year


Funds available last year


How to apply

The Community Conservation Fund is currently closed. Applications will be open from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. 

You can view the application criteria here.
Contact WWF New Zealand with any enquiries
Phone: 04 499 2930
Free phone: 0800 435 7993

Information required with your application

• evidence of IRD Charitable status
• details of any consents, permits or license needed for the project
• evidence that the project has support from the Department of Conservation and/or local authority (for example a letter of support)
• details about consultation with the local hapu and/or iwi about the project, and letters of support where appropriate
• relevant health and safety documentation 

Ownership information if the applicant does NOT own the land or property in the application, the following supporting documentation is required;
• an agreement for the use of the land for the project from the owner or
• support for the project from the organisation which has legal title to the project site if this is crown or local authority land or
• explain the reasons why the legal owner is not making the application

Decision makers

If you meet the criteria your application will be assessed by the CCF Advisory Panel. This comprises WWF-New Zealand staff and independent advisors. You may be asked to supply additional information in support of your application. This may take the form of supporting letters, restoration plans, copies of constitutions, accounts etc.

Decision time

Applications will not be assessed until after the funding round has closed.
Donations will be made 6-8 weeks after the closing date.

Your application will be assessed against the CCFcriteria.
If you meet the eligibility criteria but the Fund is oversubscribed, we will fund applications that best meet CCF priorities. This decision is final and there is no right of appeal.

How notified

Applicants will be notified by email or phone about the outcome of their application.

Unsuccessful applicants will be able to reapply to a future funding round.

How paid

Donations offered to successful applicants will be subject to a funding agreement between WWF-New Zealand and the recipient, and may be paid in a number of instalments payable at agreed milestones and dependent on progress.

Conditions of acceptance

Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement agreeing to conditions set by the Community Conservation Assessment Panel.

An interim project report will be required part way through the project. A final project report detailing project outcomes and expenditure is required on completion of all projects.


WWF New Zealand
PO Box 6237
Marion Square
Wellington 6141

New Zealand
Phone: 0800 435 7993