Providing support to custodians of biodiversity through a contestable fund of up to $200,000 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.   

Download and complete an application to the Christchurch Biodiversity Fund (DOC, 20KB]

Christchurch Biodiversity Fund Guide for Applicants

Printable guide and application form [PDF, 330 KB]

Funding and eligibility

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be a legal entity with the capacity to contract to Council:

    • individuals
    • Rūnanga
    • businesses
    • trusts
    • societies
    • universities
    • schools
    • landcare groups
    • coast care groups.
  • Landowners may apply to the fund directly, or other applicants 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.
  • Applicants must be able to provide proof of their legal status. You do not need to include this documentation with the application, but need to be able to supply it if requested.

    Legal entity Proof of legal status
    Incorporated society Certificate of Registration with the Companies Office under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908
    Charitable trust Certificate of Registration with the Companies Office under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957
    Limited partnership Certificate of Registration with the Companies Office under the Partnerships Act 2008
    Māori Trust Board Declared by any enactment to be a Māori Trust Board within the meaning of the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955
    Cooperative company Certificate of Registration with the Companies Office under the Cooperative Companies Act 1996
    Customary land As defined under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
    Landowner Certificate of Title
    Individual person Copy of driver’s licence or passport

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 $40,000 per property over a one year period from a total contestable fund of $200,000 per annum. A property may have only one active project within a 12-month period.
Funds must be spent within a year. Up to one year’s extension to use the funding may be requested.

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 per cent landowner contribution. Here are some links you might like to explore:

Funding process

The five stages of the funding process

Stage 1: The Application
Stage 2: Decision to fund
Stage 3: Funding offer
Stage 4: Project Start
Stage 5: Project End and Reporting

Applications may be submitted at any time, but we have two close-off dates for applications in 2018: 1 May and 1 December. These close-off dates allow for presentation of funding proposals to the next-occurring meeting of the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee. This committee makes the final decision on whether to approve applications.

Applicants are encouraged to submit well before their targeted close-off date, as it enables staff to ensure all supporting information has been provided and that the application is ready for evaluation.

Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision within 10 days of the Committee meeting. The offer letter will indicate the start date from which the funding is available. For the May 1 2018 close-off date the start date will be 18 June 2018, to enable allocation of funds within the current financial year. For the December 1 close-off date, applicants can choose any start date between 1 March and 1 September 2019.

Progress reports and, if applicable, requests for grant extensions must be provided within 12 months of the project start date, with a final report and receipts due 18 months after the project start date. If a project is granted an extension, the due date for the final report will be adjusted accordingly.

Stage 1: The Application

Please complete the application form provided on the website (also included in this document) 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 Site of Ecological Significance Statement, unless the site is already listed on Schedule A or B of the Christchurch District Plan(external link).
  • 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.

If you don’t want to submit an application electronically, you are welcome to call us and request that a form be posted to you. More information on the contents of the application is provided below.

Stage 2: Decision to fund

All applications are assessed and prioritised based on their ability to meet the purpose and criteria of the fund. Council staff will then make recommendations for funding to the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee. The committee makes the final decision on whether or not funding is allocated. Note that council staff or the Committee may recommend providing less than the total amount of funding you have requested, or add conditions to your application (e.g., we may ask you to have your planting list or pest control plan reviewed by a park ranger or an external ecologist).

You are welcome to attend the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee meeting. Meeting dates are advertised on the Council website(external link) or you can contact the Council for more information. All applicants will be notified of the funding decision within 10 days of the Committee meeting.

Stage 3: Funding offer

Successful Applicants will be sent a letter offering the approved funds. The letter will detail the amount of the fund, any additional conditions, and the rights and responsibilities of the contracting parties. Information will include:

  1. Site name
  2. Applicant name and contact details
  3. Landowner’s name(s) and contact details
  4. Approved funding amount
  5. Project start date
  6. Project duration
  7. Standard terms and conditions
  8. Any additional project-specific terms and conditions
  9. Funding and payment conditions
  10. A statement on conflicts of interest.

Applicants have a choice to either accept or decline the funding offer. Funding is accepted when the letter of offer is signed within the time period stated in the letter. If you are made a funding offer, you must state any conflicts of interest. If you have potential conflicts of interest, please err on the side of caution and declare these.

Stage 4: Project start

The project can start and funds can be spent from the agreed start date. Retrospective payments are made on the presentation of receipts (provided these are dated after the agreed start date) and a report on progress to the Council’s satisfaction. Receipts can be sent to biodiversityfund@ccc.govt.nz.

Stage 5: Project end and reporting

The project ends 12 months from the project start date, unless an extension is requested before the original end date. A progress report must be submitted within 12 months of the project start date, and a final report must be submitted within 18 months of the project start date, unless an extension has been granted. 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

Please provide:

  • 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 
  • evidence that best practise has been followed in the design and implementation of the control programme.

Pest plant control

Please provide:

  • a pre-control map of the location of pest plants within the project area
  • a description of the control method
  • a standard measure of the success of the control e.g. map of area where weeds have been controlled, change in adult:juvenile ratio in the control area
  • evidence that best practise has been followed in the design and implementation of the control programme.

Funding criteria

To be awarded funding a project must meet all of the following criteria:  

  • achieve positive biodiversity outcomes; and
  • be on private land, or on land which is defined under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 as customary land; and
  • 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; and
  • have a management plan.

Funding is contestable and will be prioritised by the following criteria: 

  • protection of threatened and locally rare ecosystems e.g. wetlands, dunes, cliffs, old growth forest
  • protection of threatened or locally rare species
  • have a covenant registered on the title of the land (or be entered into as part of the funding application)
  • catchment scale to ensure connectivity between  land, freshwater and the coast
  • ability to provide other benefits e.g. school and community engagement, public accessibility.  

Applications will be stronger when the applicant(s) can demonstrate:

  • the skills, experience and resources necessary to deliver the proposed project
  • sound business case and structure for project implementation
  • collaboration and partnership arrangements with the Council and/or other agencies where appropriate
  • that the monitoring and reporting methods proposed will measure the outcomes of the project.

Financial information

What can I apply 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 per cent contribution may comprise a direct financial contribution, funding from external sources other than the Council, and/or in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions must be appropriately costed and accounted for in the application.

What can’t I apply for?

The fund is not to be used for the following:

  • GST
  • costs prior to project start date
  • research
  • purchase of capital assets and other capital costs
  • business as usual operating costs
  • projects for financial profit
  • travel and accommodation
  • venue hire
  • maintenance
  • advocacy
  • insurance
  • statutory obligations
  • projects on public land.

Filling out your application

Site and applicant information

This section asks for basic information about the site, applicant contact details, and landowner details if different from the applicant. Please indicate your preferred start date. For the 1 May 2018 close-off date the start date will be 18 June 2018, to enable allocation of funds within the current financial year. For the 1 December 2018 close-off date, applicants can choose any start date between 1 March and 1 September 2019.

Project actions

In the Aims section of the application, please describe the aim(s) of the project, assets to be protected, threats to be managed and how the project will address one or more of the identified threats. You can provide this as a simple description and/or a table.

Applications can be strengthened by providing specific time frames and indicating how success of planned actions will be measured.

Project actions should follow best practice guidelines. If you are using a professional contractor, they can provide both a plan and evidence to show that best practice 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 Nature Space(external link).

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 per cent 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.

Site of ecological significance statement

If your project site is a Schedule A or B SES 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 9.1.6.1 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 to clarify whether the site has been identified as a potential site of interest. If your site has previously been identified as a potential SES, we can provide background information and/or data to assist in the preparation of a significance statement.

If your site does need a significance statement, this must be written by a qualified ecologist. Please contact us for a template, and refer to Appendix 9.1.6.1 of the District Plan(external link) for examples of completed statements.

Key documents identifying sites of ecological significance

Christchurch City Council District Plan 2016

Other documents

Davis, C. M., Head, N., Myers, S. C., & Moore, S. H. (2016). Department of Conservation guidelines for assessing significant ecological values. Publishing Team, Department of Conservation.

Lucas Associates 1995a. Indigenous ecosystems of Ōtautahi Christchurch Set 1 - The Plains of Riccarton-Wigram and Spreydon-Heathcote.  Christchurch-Ōtautahi Agenda 21 UNCED-Earth Summit Committee.  Unpublished report for the Christchurch City Council. 

Lucas Associates 1995b. Indigenous ecosystems of Ōtautahi Christchurch Set 2 - The Coastal plains of Hagley-Ferrymead and Burwood-Pegasus Christchurch-Ōtautahi Agenda 21 UNCED-Earth Summit Committee.  Unpublished report for the Christchurch City Council.

Lucas Associates 1995c. Indigenous ecosystems of Ōtautahi Christchurch Set 3 - Shirley-Papanui and Fendalton-Waimairi Christchurch-Ōtautahi Agenda 21 UNCED-Earth Summit Committee.  Unpublished report for the Christchurch City Council.

Lucas Associates 1995d. Indigenous ecosystems of Ōtautahi Christchurch Set 4 - The Port Hills of Christchurch City Christchurch-Ōtautahi Agenda 21 UNCED-Earth Summit Committee.  Unpublished report for the Christchurch City Council.

Wilson, H. D. 1992.  Banks Ecological Region, Port Hills, Herbert and Akaroa Ecological Districts. Protected Natural Areas Programme Survey Report no. 21.  DOC PNA Survey Document.

Wildland Consultants 2013.  Guidelines for the application of ecological significance criteria for indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna and wetlands in Canterbury.  Wildlands Consultants Contract report no. 2289.  Prepared for Environment Canterbury.

For vegetation, ecological survey forms are available from Landcare Research.

Biodiversity management plan

This 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 12 months of the project funding. While the Significance Statement generally identifies threats and actions for the SES, a broader management plan helps to determine whether the most important threats are being identified and managed appropriately, and to identify how the project fits into the bigger picture of both the project site and the surrounding landscape. 

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. A detailed description of what a farm biodiversity plan includes is available in the Christchurch District Plan Appendix 9.1.6.7 – Farm Biodiversity Plan Framework(external link).

If you do not already have a management plan for your property, you can provide one that just covers the SES/project site. To do this, please fill out the Biodiversity Management Action Plan table provided at the end of the application. You can use the material in the Significance Statement to develop the table. For the purpose of the Biodiversity Fund application, we will consider this table plus the Significance Statement to comprise the management plan.

Application checklist

Before submitting your application

Check that:

  • your project meets the funding criteria
  • you have read and accepted the Terms and Conditions
  • you have written agreement from the landowner for the project, if you are not the landowner
  • you have either indicated the SES Name and ID number on your application or have included a Site of Ecological Significance Statement prepared by a qualified ecologist
  • you have included a management plan
  • you have submitted your application online by the end of the day (midnight) on the target closing date, or posted a completed form to arrive by the target closing date (allow 10 working days).

E-mail your application to: Biodiversityfund@ccc.govt.nz

Post your application to:

Christchurch Biodiversity Fund
53 Hereford St
Christchurch City Council
Christchurch 8013

Application closing dates

Close-off dates for applications are 1 May 2018 and 1 December 2018. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit well before these dates, as it enables staff to assess and ensure all supporting information has been provided and is ready for evaluation.