Who can apply for funding?

We welcome applications from:

  • community groups
  • iwi/hapū
  • incorporated societies
  • community trusts
  • resident and ratepayer groups
  • educational institutions
  • for the incentive fund "enhancing biodiversity on protected private land"
    • individuals
  • for the incentive fund "sustained rabbit management"
    • groups of landowners (five or more adjacent landholdings)
    • individual properties with the following status:
      • Māori customary land
      • Māori freehold land
      • Crown land reserved for Māori
      • General land withing the boundary of an original native reserve, if that land is still owned or partly owned by Māori

You may only submit one application per funding round.

Government agencies and territorial authorities are not eligible for funding.


  • Forming a community group to coordinate rabbit management in your area
  • Forming a community group to collect landowner contributions for collective rabbit management
  • Developing collaborative long-term rabbit management plans or community action plans
  • Forming partnerships with other groups including community, government agencies, school groups, absentee landholders, landcare groups and mana whenua groups
  • Sharing best practice techniques with your community, e.g., hosting community workshops, training in best practice, hosting expert guests
  • Raising awareness of your programme via social media, e.g. videos, webinars
  • Showcasing community groups participating in best practice rabbit management
  • Producing advertising material to promote your community plan
  • Designing rabbit management signage for your local area
  • Trialling new techniques to inform best practice rabbit management
  • Trialling creative new community engagement/collaboration ideas
  • Developing a citizen science programme to monitor rabbit numbers in your area
  • Developing tools to monitor and map rabbit densities in your area
  • Collecting data to help plan rabbit management in your area
  • In their first year, groups may apply for the cost of fencing across multiple properties. The number of properties required will depend on the local context.


Biodiversity enhancement on protected private land incentive funding

This fund supports landowners in Otago that have been proactive in protecting indigenous biodiversity values on their land to maintain or enhance those values.

Applications for this fund can be from individual landowners and do not need to engage or involve the community.

For the purposes of this fund, protected private land is defined as land not in public ownership i.e., freehold and/or Māori-owned land.

Protected private land could include covenants e.g. QEII covenants or Ngā Whenua Rāhui (NWR) kawenata; and/or and Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) or Regionally Significant Wetlands scheduled in District or Regional Plans.

For clarity, it does not include Public Conservation Land, council reserves, LINZ-administered land e.g., Crown Pastoral Lease, or Pamu (Landcorp).


What won’t be funded?

The ECO Fund does not provide funding for:

  • commercial or private gain
  • resource consent applications
  • projects created to comply with resource consent conditions
  • responses to any actual or potential enforcement action
  • seed capital
  • maintenance for existing projects
  • retrospective costs


Further information to read and review before applying: 


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