Sustainability opportunities

Two women planting


We’re working on opportunities for our community to lead more sustainable lives.  

To view each opportunity, click on the links above, or click Next below.

If you’ve got ideas of sustainable opportunities Council could offer the community, please get in touch with us.

Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund 

The Upper Hutt City Council Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund (formerly Zero Waste and Community Environment Fund) seeks to support practical sustainability initiatives related to environmental protection, waste minimisation, and community resilience. 

Who can apply

  • Schools.
  • Early childhood education facilities.
  • Community gardens providers and charitable community organisations wishing to partner with existing community gardens providers.
  • Social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.
  • Applicants must operate within the Upper Hutt boundary.

The priorities for funding

  • The extent the project will directly reduce waste to landfill or support initiatives for environmental protection.
  • The extent the project will indirectly reduce waste to landfill or support initiatives for environmental protection through the educational impact on the wider community.
  • The extent the project will build community resilience.
  • The project shows how success will be measured.
  • The likelihood of the project becoming self-sustaining.

How to apply

For further information please contact Upper Hutt City Council (04) 527 2169 or email

If you applied and received funding from previous rounds, you need to have completed an accountability form(PDF, 252KB) to be considered for future funding.

Sustainability Stimulus Grant

The Sustainability Stimulus Grant (round three) is now open for applications until 10 March 2024. 

We want to hear about your project - we can help make sure your application meets the criteria, and help you craft it.  To discuss your project or apply, please get in touch with us.

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 last two rounds of our Sustainably Stimulus grant, we’ve helped fund 14 projects, their details are below. If you have a project that aligns with the themes of our sustainable strategy and benefits Upper Hutt, our third round of funding will open at the end of the year!

Have a read through the information below, and if you have any questions or would like to discuss your application, please get in touch with us

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.


















Healthy Homes

Healthy Homes Banner.jpg

Free Eco Design Advisor Service

Get free advice to make your house warm, dry, healthy and more energy efficient from a trained, independent Eco Design Advisor for your Upper Hutt home.

What is it?

Is your home cold or damp?  Are you getting condensation on your windows?  Are you thinking about heating options? Are your energy bills skyrocketing? Are you confused about curtains? Wondering about solar panels? Considering insulation options?  We can help!

An Eco Design Advisor is an independent advisor that can visit your home and give you advice to make your home warmer, drier, healthier, and more efficient.  If you're planning on building a new home, the Advisor can give you independent advice which is helpful before you sign off the final plans.   It is a free service to the Upper Hutt community - the cost of the service ($200 p/visit) is covered by Council.

During the two-hour consultation, the following topics can be covered:



Heating options

 Insulation.jpg  Insulation
 Draughts.jpg  How to fix draughts
 Hot Water.jpg  Hot water systems
 Window Coverings.jpg  

Windows and coverings

 Ventilation.jpg  Ventilation and ventilation systems
 Moisture.jpg  Moisture and mould


If you want to know more, check out the Eco Design Advisor website, and have a look at their information sheets online.

How do I make an appointment?

The Eco Design Advisor is based in Lower Hutt at Hutt City Council, and looks after the whole Hutt Valley.  If you would like to request an appointment, you make an appointment with them by booking directly in their calendar, or contact them directly: or 027 406 5642.  As easy as that!

If you have any feedback about the Eco Design Advisor Service, we'd love to hear it!  Please feel free to let us know either below, or email us:

Please note: free assessments are dependent on funding availability, as the costs are covered by Upper Hutt City Council.

Subsidies and help available:

  • Curtains: The Sustainability Trust run the Wellington Curtain bank.  If you live in Upper Hutt and you, or someone in your house has a community services card or is a SuperGold Combo Cardholder, you may be eligible for free made-to-measure curtains from the curtain bank.  The curtain bank recycles donated curtains, and ensures they are fit for purpose.

Check out the Curtain Bank website to see if you are eligible and apply.

  • Insulation and heating: The EECA Warmer Kiwi Homes Programme covers 80% of the total cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, and 80% of the cost of an approved heater (capped at $3,000 including GST).  This programme is for homeowners, and funding is determined by area and housing circumstances.

Check out the EECA website to see if you're eligible and request a quote.

Borrow a Home Energy Audit Toolkit (HEAT kit)

The Central Library has three HEAT kits available for library members to borrow for free.  The kits contain a set of do-it-yourself tools and instructions to help you assess your home in terms of warmth, dampness, and energy efficiency.  Each HEAT kit contains:

  • A hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity of your home.
  • A power meter to measure the costs and amount of power your appliances use.
  • A stopwatch to measure your shower flow rate.
  • An infrared thermometer to assess any heat loss through walls, windows and ceilings; air leaks in the fridge; the water temperature and hot water cylinder.
  • A wood moisture meter to assess how dry your firewood is
  • An instruction booklet with tips and tricks for you to keep.

You may also download the instruction booklet here(PDF, 547KB).



Developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council, HomeFit is an online check designed to improve your home to keep it warm, dry and safe.  Designed for home owners, renters and landlords, once you have answered some questions about your house, you'll receive an impartial report on how it could be improved.

Climate change speaking event

We were thrilled to partner with Whirinaki Whare Taonga to sponsor the Meltdown: Visualising  Climate Change exhibition and support the climate change speaking event held in March.  The experts were: 

Dave Lowe: Atmospheric scientist who has been working on climate change for 50 years, having worked with Charles David Keeling to record atmospheric carbon at Baring Head in Wellington.   

Dave was a lead author of the 2007 IPCC report that received a Nobel Peace Prize, and his book ‘the Alarmist’ has become a Victoria University Press best seller. His work has been featured on several documentaries – one for New Zealand Geographic, and another as part of the Netflix  ‘Stories of a Generation’ series. He won the Environmental Category at the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards (Welly Awards) last year.  

James Renwick: Commissioner with the Climate Change Commission, and a Professor at Victoria University specialising in Climate Change.  In 2018 he won the Prime Ministers Science Prize for communication.  He was a lead author for the IPCC’s fourth and fifth Assessment reports, as well as a coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s sixth Assessment Report. 

Cr Sophie Handford: Sophie was the national coordinator for the School Strike for climate in New Zealand, where she mobilised 170,000 people.  She is the youngest person to be elected as a Councillor in New Zealand and serves as an Elected Member on the Kāpiti Coast District Council. 

Upper Hutt City Council Strategic Policy Manager Rob Thomas was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, held in the Gillies Group Theatre, at Whirinaki Whare Taonga.

If you missed it, you can watch a recording of the event below. 


Upper Hutt Landscape Guide

As part of the Sustainability Stimulus Grant, Upper Hutt City Council are supporting Urban Edge Planning to release a free Sustainable Landscape guide.

This guide aims to provide the community of Upper Hutt with specific knowledge to start their own landscaping journey, which will not only add value to Upper Hutt’s biodiversity and resilience but will enhance sustainable lifestyles for residents.

The guide will be released later this year, please come back to this page for a link to the guide once it is released.