Sustainability Stimulus Grant


The Sustainability Stimulus Grant is now closed for applications

Council has funding available to support sustainable projects in Upper Hutt.  Applications are open to businesses, organisations and individuals.  All applications are required to: 

  • Demonstrate that their project or initiative aligns with one or more of the Sustainability Strategy 2020 goals
  • Demonstrate that their project or initiative will be advantageous to Upper Hutt. 

Over the first two rounds of our Sustainably Stimulus grant, we’ve helped fund 14 projects, their details are below.

Find out about the Grant

Background information

In the 2021 Long Term Plan consultation, we asked the community if they would like us to adopt a Sustainability Stimulus Grant program.   

Over two thirds of respondents supported the grant.  As a result, Council have elected to proceed with the grant, which is designed to support initiatives that align with our sustainability goals.  Funding has been granted for the first three years of the Long Term Plan, as a trial.



Frequently asked questions

What is the Sustainability Stimulus Grant? 

The Sustainability Stimulus Grant is a pool of funds available to help get sustainable projects up and running.  It has been approved for the first three years of the Long Term Plan.  There are two stipulations for the grant: 

  1. Applications must show how they contribute to Councils Sustainability Goals (found in the Sustainability Strategy).

  2. Applications must show how their project or activity will benefit Upper Hutt.  


We have intentionally left it wide open for applications, so get your thinking cap on! 

Why are we doing this? 

In 2020, Council adopted Sustainability Strategy 2020 for Upper Hutt.  The Strategy has eight goals that will help formulate Council’s overall vision: ‘We have an outstanding natural environment, leisure, and recreational opportunities, and we are a great place for families to live, work, and play.’  

As part of the Strategy, we want to support the community to make progress in achieving the goals.  There is plenty to do in ensuring a stable future going forward. 

Where does the project have to be based? 

As the grant is ratepayer-funded, we want to ensure that the funds benefit Upper Hutt as much as possible.  So, while we don’t stipulate that the project needs to be based in Upper Hutt, you will need to tell us how your project or initiative gives advantage to Upper Hutt, and how it will benefit our community.   

Who can apply? 

Businesses, organisations and individuals can apply.  There are some exemptions: for all the details, please read the Grant Policy(PDF, 87KB) .

How much can I apply for? 

The minimum sized grant is $5,000.  Applicants may be awarded up to 40% of their project cost.  If you are working on a smaller project, you may want to consider if the Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund is an option for you.

What is the process? 

Once applications have closed, staff will assemble the documentation for the Sustainability Stimulus Grant Disbursement Panel.  The Panel will then meet and decide how to allocate the funding. 


When is it happening? 

The grant will open for applications 30 October 2023, and close 10 March 2024.  The panel will make their decision in May.  

Why is the application period so long? 

We want to give people plenty of time to consider their project, get quotes together, and put together a quality application.  

How do I apply? 

Easy! Head to the application form on this page during the application period.  We recommend that you read through the Policy in full(PDF, 87KB) , as well as Council’s Sustainability Strategy(PDF, 87KB)  before you submit your application.  Once you’ve started your application, you can save it and come back to it later if you need to. 

If you have any further questions, please contact us - we're here to help.


2021-2022 Grant Recipients

  1. Ken Mercer: Funding received $10,000

    Project: Indigenous Forest restoration and predator control. 

    This project will see two hectares of land in Upper Hutt restored to indigenous forest reminiscent of pre-human times.  An extensive predator trapping, and bait programme will be part of the project.  It is expected that the project will sequester approximately 2 tCO2e per year in the first 10 years, before increasing to 7 tCO2e.  Ultimately the forest will sequester 720 tCO2e when mature.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: emission reduction, biodiversity.

  2. Leda Extrusions NZ Ltd: Funding received $15,000

    Project: Water infrastructure. 

    This project will significantly reduce the applicant’s reliance on the potable water supply by four million litres per year.  This is the equivalent water use of 51 Upper Hutt residents per year.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation.

  3. Rimutaka Baptist Church: Funding received $10,000

    Project: Food programme. 

    This project will see a food programme expanded to become a circular initiative and incorporate gardens and composting systems for the programme to grow their own food and establish a ‘shopping experience’ for users.  The programme will assist 200 people a week in the Northern Upper Hutt suburbs.  Almost all the current users are from outside the church community.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: resilient community.

  4. Greenback Ltd and Pollinator Paths: Funding received $20,000

    Project: An initiative to engage and motivate communities to grow plants for climate action and adaptation outcomes. 

    This project will see Community Growathons developed to help communities grow for climate action and adaptation while measuring the outcomes and contribution to biodiversity across Upper Hutt.  The project will also incorporate composting solutions and a community event.

    The project aims to attract 3,500 residents to the programme in the first year.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: education, emission reduction, biodiversity, community resilience, waste reduction.

  5. Silver Stream Railway Incorporated: Funding received $5,474

    Project: Water storage.

    This project will see the installation of two 10,000L water tanks to harvest rainwater, meaning the applicant will be able to stop relying on the potable water supply for their steam locomotives in the first instance.  It is anticipated that up to 96,000L of rainwater may be captured per month.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation

  6. Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, Upper Hutt Branch: Funding received $13,235 in year one.  The Panel further committed to funding the project $6,840 in year two, and $6,840 in year three to ensure longevity of the project.

    Project: Pest eradication programme.

    This project will see an extensive pest control programme take place to link the key native ecosystems of Keith George Memorial Park and Akatarawa Forest.  It will involve surveying, cutting, and marking 4km of tracks and placing bait stations at 100m intervals along these tracks, alongside the existing bush edge, and forestry road access ways.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, carbon reduction.

  7. 4 A Better City Trust: Funding received $20,000
    Project: Centre of Regenerative Learning.

    This project will see a Centre of Regenerative Learning set up; a proof-of-concept regenerative organic farm, regenerative organic farm teaching centre, and a climate change mitigation data collection hub focussed on growing fruit, vegetables and  community composting.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment:
    Resilient community, education.


2022-2023 Grant Recipients

  1. Rubber Solutions Asia Pacific LTD: Funding received $31,760

Project: Increased efficiency for recycling programme

This project will increase the capacity of rubber solutions to recycle used tyre tread, diverting a around 81 tonnes of tyre waste from landfill each year.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: waste reduction, leadership.


2. The Good Carbon Farm: Funding received $8,000

Project: Biochar production

This project will see biochar created from surplus forestry slash in Akatārawa Valley.  The biochar will be distributed to local initiatives.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction,  resilient communities, leadership, waste reduction, education and engagement.


3. Pinehaven Tennis Club Incorporated: Funding received $11,341

Project: Outdoor floodlights

This project will replace existing floodlights with LED equivalents.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction, leadership.


4. Friends of Mawaihakona Stream: Funding received $18,350

Project: Indigenous biodiversity restoration

 This project is working to restore indigenous biodiversity through riparian planting.  The planting will help sequester emissions when mature.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction, biodiversity, water supply, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.


5. Pest Free Upper Hutt: Funding received $16,890

Project: Pest eradication programme

This project is to target the eradication of mustelids from the Silverstream Spur and Southern Waterways areas.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction, biodiversity, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.


6. 4 A Better City Trust (Mahinga Kai): Funding received $25,000

Project: Urban Farm

This project will see the expansion of the Mahinga Kai urban farm – a proof of concept organic farm and teaching centre.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction, biodiversity, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.


7. Urban Edge Planning Limited: Funding received $16,609

Project: Sustainable Landscape Design Guide

This project will see the creating of an Upper Hutt specific Sustainable Landscape Design guide, a free resource for the Upper Hutt community.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: Emissions reduction, biodiversity, water conservation, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.


2023-2024 Grant Recipients

  1.  Pest Free Upper Hutt: Funding received: $7,885

Project: Continuation of Southern Bird Corridor Predator Programme

This programme of work has eliminated over 380 predators since it began last year.  The funding will ensure the programme will continue for the next three years.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, emissions reduction, education and engagement, community resilience.


2. Hutt Concrete Products: Funding received: $50,000

Project: Manufacture of low carbon concrete products

This programme will see the development and roll out of low emission concrete drainage products.  Globally concrete production produces an enormous amount of emissions each year - so much so that if it were a country, it would be the third highest emitting country in the world.  This project will reduce the number of emissions generated in their product by 32%.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: emissions reduction, community resilience, leadership, waste reduction.


3. Arrow Uniforms: Funding received: $50,000

Project: Uniform landfill diversion programme

This programme will see the diversion of clothing from landfill.  It  is aiming to divert 50+ tonnes of end-of-life textiles by 2025, which will prevent 150+ tonnes of carbon dioxide being produced.  Furthermore, it aims to increase numbers to divert 200+ tonnes of clothing by 2030.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: waste reduction, leadership, emissions reduction.


4. Forest and Bird Upper Hutt Branch: Funding Received: $23,920.30

Project: River Road Predator Control project

This funding will continue the programme of work - that began with the first round of Sustainability Stimulus Grant funding - for the next three years.  The project has proof of concept; since it began, enough bait has been taken to knock down 1,200 possums and 45,000 rats.  The area has also experienced notable regrowth of possum ravaged vegetation, and evidence has been seen of Kereru breeding.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, community resilience.


5. Aston Norwood: Funding Received: $15,322.38

Project: Stream restoration

The funding will go towards the restoration of the Pakuratahi Stream.  It involves restoring and stabilising the streambank, and planting 1,475 plants.  The Pakuratahi Stream is a tributary of the Hutt River, and a water supply source for numerous residents in Kaitoke.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, emission reduction,  education and engagement.


6. The Good Carbon Farm: Funding received: $9,000

Project: Development of biochar charity

The funding will go towards the development of the charity, to work towards becoming self-funding.  The Good Carbon Farm focus on generating biochar, and distributing it to community groups and gardens.  Dating back over 2,500 years, biochar is a charcoal-like substance created by burning organic material such as forest slash.  It is used to improve soil quality by reducing soil acidity, water and fertiliser requirements, and in some instances, fungal diseases.  The creation of biochar releases some carbon, then the remaining carbon content becomes infinitely stable.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: emission reduction, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.


7. Forest and Bird Upper Hutt Branch: Funding received: $12,755.87

Project: Water tank and irrigation installation

This funding will go towards installing two water tanks to harvest rainwater and the associated irrigation installation at Forest and Bird's nursery.  Forest and Bird have cultivated and planted over 125,000 native trees and shrubs in the Upper Hutt community over the last two decades.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation, biodiversity, community resilience, emission reduction.