Applications open for $10,000 grants to improve Aotearoa waterways

 Community and catchment groups around the country can now apply for funding from the Westpac Water Care Project to boost their environmental work and improve local waterways.

 The partnership between NZ Landcare Trust and Westpac NZ is delivering much-needed resources to help passionate locals protect their natural surroundings for our native wildlife and future generations.

 Since 2022, each year the Westpac Water Care Project has awarded six $10,000 grants to eligible community and catchment groups, and applications for the 2024 allocation are now open.

 NZ Landcare Trust CEO, Dr Nick Edgar, says grant funding is really important to small environmental groups, who know their communities and waterways best.

 “Collective action is critical to conserving our waterways to protect biodiversity, and to connect communities,” says Dr Edgar.

 “By providing local groups with funding to get their projects under way, we give them the means to get really aspirational about what they could achieve.”

 Westpac NZ Head of Agribusiness, Tim Henshaw, says the bank’s partnership with NZ Landcare Trust has already delivered positive outcomes around the country.

 “Showing support and care for our environment and communities is a key part of what we do as a bank. We know access to funding is critical to get projects off the ground so they can create the change they’re aiming for,” says Mr Henshaw.

 “To date, grants have been awarded to fund a variety of initiatives, from restoration planting and weed management, through to pest control, water quality monitoring and even to produce resources for small farms and lifestyle blocks wanting to improve their wetlands and run offs.”

 “Westpac employees from our senior leaders to front line branch staff are fully engaged in the partnership, and put in hundreds of volunteer hours every year to help get the grunt work done. We’ve had volunteers help grant recipients with restoration planting, trap setting, and water testing – our people love being able to look after their own backyards in this way.”

 Applications for this year’s grants are open until 28 June. Interested groups can check if they meet the criteria and register their interest in funding on the Westpac Water Care Project website.


The six recipients of 2023 Westpac Water Care Project grants and their goals are:

  • Oratia & Waiatarua Wildlife Project (Upper North Island): Establish fencing of restoration and riparian planting areas; community planting day with iwi; implement staged weed management and restoration planting plan.
  • Ahuriri Tributaries Catchment Group Trust (Eastern North Island): Implement a Mini Freshwater Environmental Plan process for small farms and lifestyle blocks and distribute planting starter packs.
  • Moutere Catchment Group (Central New Zealand): Create two to three new wetlands.
  • Summit Road Society for Avoca Valley Catchment (Canterbury): Restore the bush in the Avoca Valley catchment to create habitat and ecological corridors for native fauna, improve freshwater value, reduce erosion, and sediment run-off, restore mahinga kai and support carbon sequestration.
  • Teviot Valley Water Care (Otago): Create vegetation and silt traps and improve animal crossings at critical source points to catch overland flow in heavy rain events and inform best practice for the rest of the sub-catchments.
  • Mid-Oreti Catchment Group (Southland): Continue the Mini Forest Movement for the 2023/24 planting season and continue propagating our own plants ready to plant in the future.