Bay of Plenty Regional Council offers a number of funding options you could apply for. See below funds and awards for further information and downloadable forms. 

Funds and awards

Toi Moana is pleased to announce the opening of the iwi sponsorship fund for 2020. This annual initiative is to provide sponsorship for three iwi representatives to attend the Making Good Decisions Foundation Course.

This Course provides Councillors, Community Board members and independent commissioners to make better decisions under the Resource Management Act. 

The initial outlay of costs will need to be met by the iwi authority (or their chosen candidate) in the first instance. Upon successful completion of the Course then the cost will be refunded. Successful applicants are responsible for enrolment on the Course. Nominations are now being called for from iwi authorities from within the Bay Of Plenty Region. 

The Environmental Enhancement Fund supports local projects that aim to enhance, preserve or protect the region's natural or historic character.

We set up the Environmental Enhancement Fund to provide seed funding for community-based projects that:

  • Improve the environment.
  • Raise environmental awareness.
  • Use the enthusiasm and skills of the community.

He Matapuna Akoranga a Hawea Vercoe - Hawea Vercoe Memorial Fund

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has made available through He Matapuna Akoranga a Hawea Vercoe - Hawea Vercoe Memorial Fund funding to help Kura Kaupapa Māori, Kohanga Reo and bi-lingual schools in the region with environmental projects.

These grants are being funded through our Environmental Enhancement Fund, which is an exisiting community grant scheme.

The Application Form can also be completed electronically - see below for more information.

Application Form
Assessment Sheet
Closing Application Report
Example Application Form
EEF Policy - Operational Policy
Helpsheet 1 - Setting up a group?
Helpsheet 2 - Ready to plan the project?
Helpsheet 3 - Demonstrating the value of your project?

For more information, contact us at

Who can and cannot apply for funding?

Does your group fit in with the aims of the Environmental Enhancement Fund?

You do not have to be a registered trust or incorporated society to be eligible to apply for funding.

The Environmental Enhancement Fund is open to:

  • Community groups.
  • Iwi/hapū.
  • Incorporated societies.
  • Community trusts.
  • Resident and ratepayer groups.
  • Landowner groups.
  • Individuals.
  • Educational institutes.
  • Business/industry.

We do not fund:

  • Activities outside Bay of Plenty Regional Council's responsibilities and regions.
  • Projects receiving funding from other Council programmes e.g. Care Groups.
  • Projects more appropriately funded through other Bay of Plenty Regional Council programmes.
  • Resource consent applications and mitigation requirements.
  • Projects resulting in commercial profit.
  • Applications which are incomplete or do not provide enough information.
  • Activities conducted prior to Bay of Plenty Regional Council receiving signed contracts.

What we will fund:

  • Applications of up to $25,000.
  • Up to 20% of the total approved funding in labour costs.
  • Groups that encourage and provide appropriate and free public access to the project site.
  • Limited infrastructure e.g. track, board walks, interpretation signs etc.
  • Native plants at a cost to be determined annually by Council.
  • Projects/activities within Bay of Plenty Regional Council's legal boundaries and areas of responsibility.

Frequently asked questions

Can our group implement a project if it is on public land or owned by someone else?

To implement a project on public land (or any land not owned by the applicant) you must provide written permission from the landowner with your application. This includes organisations such as the Department of Conservation or land under Māori ownership. Remember your project will still need to meet all the fund criteria outlined in this booklet.

How long can my project run for?

We will not normally fund an over $5,000 project of longer than three years in a single funding round. Whatever the timeframe, you need to clearly show in your project plan what you're going to do over that period and what your outcomes will be.

What happens if I need a resource consent to implement my project?

Bay of Plenty Regional Council prefers any resource consent to be obtained prior to submitting Environmental Enhancement Fund applications. We do not pay for resource consent applications as part of the project costs.

How many times can I apply for funding for a project?

The primary purpose of the fund is to provide seed funding to get projects underway. We may fund a project for three consecutive years or three separate one-year periods.

Who is responsible for Health and Safety on the project site?

The recipient of funding is responsible for ensuring all OSH requirements are met either by volunteers or contractors.

When does my project need to start by?

Council expects any group funded through the Environmental Enhancement Fund to start their project within 12 months of funding notification.

How much money can I apply for?

As a guideline, a single application should not exceed 10% of the total available funding.

What happens if there are too many projects for the money Bay of Plenty Regional Council is giving out?

Every year the amount of funding requested has been in excess of the amount available and unfortunately some projects do miss out because of the number of great projects groups want to do.

Can I do a research or scoping project with Environmental Enhancement Funding?

No, the primary purpose of your project must be to promote, enhance or protect directly the Bay of Plenty's environment.

Applications for the Community Initiatives Fund as part of the process for submitting to the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 have now closed.

This fund was established to support projects that:

  • Support/enhance the work of Council.
  • Are not eligible for other Council funding e.g. Environmental Enhancement Fund, Rotorua Nutrient Reduction Fund, Riparian Management Plan grants, Iwi/Hapū Management Plan funding or other Council funds not outlined here.

Applications have now closed. 

He Toka Tūmoana Scholarship was launched in memory of the late Councillor Awanui Black. Four scholarships valued at $2,500 each will be awarded to students who live or have whakapapa within the Bay of Plenty and are enrolled in a course related to environmental or water management, planning and/or mātauranga Māori.

He Toka Tūmoana Scholarship for tertiary students has been created to commemorate the late Councillor Awanuiarangi Black, an avid supporter of environment and restoration projects, research and education.


The main purpose of the Fund is to assist students by providing financial support for education, activities, research and/or projects. The benefits of the fund are to:

  • Focus on environmental education and kaitiakitanga/guardianship.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to enhancing environmental knowledge.
  • Raise environmental awareness and understanding.
  • Provide financial support to students.
  • Encourage Mātauranga Māori research and education.
  • Promote leadership and innovation. 

Who is eligible to apply?

The scholarship is available to tertiary students who:

  • Live or have whakapapa within the Bay of Plenty.
  • Are enrolled in a course related to environmental or water management, planning and/or mātauranga Māori.

Application submission

For enquiries and submissions, please submit to:

Michelle Hingston
Kaituitui Strategy Engagement Coordinator
Phone: 0800 884 881 x9135

Terms and conditions

Successful applications will be subject to the following conditions:

  • On completion of study, a copy of course programme details and completion certificate will be required.
  • Provision of receipts and/or information about tertiary education (including photos/media releases/newsletters/brochures/PowerPoint presentations etc) where practicable/requested.
  • If requested, acceptance of an invitation to present to Komiti Māori/Bay of Plenty Regional Council about their studies.
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council retains the right to reference the sponsored person in its own promotional work.
  • Tertiary education programmes, activities and/or projects that qualify for funding will be consistent with Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s mission statement, statutory role, and the Regional Community Outcomes.

All around the Bay of Plenty region there are many environmental projects led by locals - people who are planning and acting with inspirational vision and commitment for the future.

The Helping Hand guide introduces all the ways we may be able to help your work and also shares experiences and tips from others.

Check out the guide, A helping hand - a guide to funding and support for environmental projects.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund has been established to promote sustainable regional economic development, and promote environmental protection and enhancement that supports sustainable regional economic development in the Bay of Plenty.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund was set up to support and promote economic development in the Bay of Plenty. The Fund is a commitment we made in the Council’s Ten Year Plan 2012-22.

The first funding round took place in 2013 and up to $40.5 million funding was allocated for:

  • An Innovation Centre at Scion’s Innovation Park in Rotorua.
  • A shared tertiary campus in Tauranga.
  • A Marine Precinct for Tauranga City.
  • The Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation.

Read more about these projects below.

Scion Innovation Centre

The planned Innovation Centre will be a shared space for growing businesses and small development teams within Scion’s Innovation Park.

The Centre will seek to attract high-tech businesses that are targeting new markets for forest and wood-derived products and services.

It will be a business and innovation cluster similar to, for example, the Ag-biotech hub at Waikato Innovation Park.

Based on NZIER research, the Scion Innovation Centre could help create thousands of jobs and increase export earnings by up to $1 billion.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing up to $2.5 million towards the Innovation Centre’s construction and fit-out.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council signed a Funding Agreement with Scion in April 2014 which sets out the conditions and obligations for the Regional Infrastructure Fund contribution.

Tauranga shared tertiary campus

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and the University of Waikato make up the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership.

The project involves construction of a new, purpose-built shared tertiary campus in the Tauranga CBD.

This will provide more pathways through tertiary education and will attract more young people, particularly Māori, into tertiary education. Attracting young people to the Bay of Plenty is crucial to develop employment, education, and business opportunities.

The project partners estimate that over its two stages of construction, the tertiary shared campus will provide: over $49 million in direct construction expenditures; $47 million in flow-on effects for suppliers and households; an estimated 427 construction jobs, and 272 tertiary operations jobs.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing up to $15 million towards the construction of stage one, a new purpose-built campus by 2020; and stage two, a second building on the campus by 2039.

Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) is also contributing $15 million towards stage one, and Tauranga City Council (TCC) is gifting Durham Street land for stage one. Bay of Plenty Regional Council signed a Heads of Agreement in May 2015 with TECT, TCC and University of Waikato (on behalf of the Tertiary Education Partnership) which sets out the conditions and obligations for receiving the funding commitments.

Marine Precinct at Sulphur Point

This project involves construction of a purpose-built marine servicing facility and related infrastructure at Tauranga’s Sulphur Point.

Tauranga City Council is the project owner and estimates up to 100 jobs could be created by development of a Marine Precinct.

Over the longer term, a Marine Precinct will create significant opportunities for long-term economic development, business and job creation, and will provide a hub for the sub-regional marine sector.

The $10 million Marine Precinct project will create a purpose-built marine servicing facility and related infrastructure at Sulphur Point.  Up to $5 million of this funding will come from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regional Infrastructure Fund as a grant. Tauranga City Council’s contribution of $5 million is to be offset by the sale of properties on and near the site.

Tauranga City and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council have signed a heads of agreement that defines the main conditions and obligations for the up to $5 million Regional Infrastructure Fund investment in the Tauranga Marine Precinct project.

Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project

The Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project will create a new harbour infrastructure that enables all weather, all tide access in and out of the harbour. This will be crucial to developing the off-shore aquaculture industry in the eastern Bay.

The Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project aligns with the objectives of the Bay of Plenty aquaculture strategy to be a world class aquaculture region by 2025.

Estimates are that the mussel farm producing 16,000 tonnes of mussels a year would create 236 jobs, and increase GDP by $33.5 million in the sub-region.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing up to $18 million towards the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project. Funding is also being sought from central government, and construction is scheduled to start in 2018/19.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ōpōtiki District Council signed a Heads of Agreement in January 2015, which sets out the conditions and obligations for the Regional Infrastructure Fund contributions. As part of its Long Term Plan 2015-25, Council allocated a further $2 million to the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project, bringing its total funding commitment to $20 million.

Read more about the Ōpōtiki Harbour development.

Council is reviewing its infrastructure funding policy which covers the Regional Infrastructure Fund and direct funding grants for sewerage and transport projects. Council has allocated more than $50 million over the next five years towards infrastructure grants.

Questions about the Regional Infrastructure Fund 

How will the fund affect rates in the region?

There is funding allocated in our current Long Term Plan for regional infrastructure projects and the council doesn't anticipate any additional impact on rates in coming years.

Once negotiations are progressed with the RIF applicants, future Long Term Plans (formerly Ten Year Plans) will address the timing of funding allocations for regional infrastructure. 

This Council is financially prudent and Council is confident RIF funding requirements can be successfully managed.

How does spending $40 million on infrastructure fit with the new purpose of the Local Government Act 2002?

Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002 states that the purpose of local government is to:

  • Enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities.
  • Meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.

Council is seeking to fulfil this purpose through our contribution to high-quality local infrastructure.  We do this with our direct funding for sewerage and water treatment, and we believe that the four projects chosen for the Regional Infrastructure Fund also help us meet this purpose.

These projects have been independently assessed as providing the greatest economic benefit for the funding provided. 

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards recognise and celebrate good farm practices which promotes sustainable land management through an annual awards programme.

Why enter?

Benefits of entering include:

  • Linking sustainable farming practices to long-term profitability.
  • Discussing practical farm information and business with judges from a range of fields.
  • Gathering new ideas and different methods from other entrants.
  • Confirming that your current farm management practices are sustainable.
  • Prizes and recognition.
  • Benchmark your farming business with others.
  • Receive independent feedback from a team of agri-professionals.
  • Promote the many great sustainability initiatives already happening on farms.
  • Tell your own great farming story.


  • Regional Supreme Award
  • Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
  • DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
  • Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award
  • Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
  • Massey University Innovation Award
  • CB Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
  • WaterForce Integrated Management Award
  • Farm Stewardship Award
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Awards  
  • Zespri Kiwifruit Orchard Award (unique to Bay of Plenty region only)

Who is involved?

National Partners

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Federated Farmers
  • Rabobank
  • QUII National Trust

Regional Partner

  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council  

Regional Sponsors

  • ZespriTM International Limited
  • Ports of Tauranga