Starting a community garden

Learn how to apply for permission to start a community garden on Council land. Once it’s set up, you will be eligible for our funding.

Two smiling people crouching down in a garden, holding vegetables, at Kaicycle Urban Farm, Newtown.

Community gardens provide access to Council-owned land for groups of people who wish to grow their own plants and vegetables. There are over twenty community gardens around Wellington.

If you would like to start a new community garden, you’ll need to get a group together, choose a garden site, and apply to the Council for permission to use the land.

Get a group together

To start a community garden, you need at least five community members to be responsible for the upkeep of the garden. You will be required to form a legal entity, such as an incorporated society or charitable trust. This needs to be set up before you apply to start a community garden.

Find out how to choose the right legal structure for your group on the Community Toolkit website.

Choosing a community garden site

An ideal community garden site:

  • receives at least 6 hours of sun per day
  • is close to watering facilities, but does not interfere with any underground pipes or lines
  • is easily accessible for community members
  • would not affect the community’s enjoyment of other functions (for example, dog walking and sports).

Taking these conditions into consideration can help groups determine the best garden design. It is important to think about these things early as permission for a community garden can be granted for up to 10 years.

If you have questions or would like advice before applying, email

Apply for permission

To apply for permission to create a community garden on Council-owned land, complete our online application form:

Apply for permission to set up a garden

The application requires you to:

  • include your details and your group’s details
  • outline why you want to start a community garden
  • upload an image that shows the location of the proposed site from above
  • specify your group’s connection to the garden location
  • include details about access to water, the direction the garden faces, and the site’s current use.

How we assess your application

There are several factors we take into consideration when assessing your application.

  • Community gardens are not appropriate in coastal management areas or in Wellington’s outer green belt.
  • Community gardens should not interfere with any other ways the land is used.
  • Community gardens should have broad community support and consultation.
  • Community gardens must be not-for-profit, and the garden space must be open to the public.
  • Applicants must have legal status (such as, an incorporated society or charitable trust) or be under the umbrella of a legal organisation and have public liability insurance.

If your application is approved

If your application is successful, we will be in touch to ask you to provide more details, such as how you expect to maintain the site and your health and safety plan.

Your group will also be required to sign a license or a lease with the Council outlining the gardening responsibilities of each person.

Stone Soup Fund

There is no direct cost to acquiring space for a community garden. However, things like gardening tools, seedlings, and materials for raised beds will require getting funding or donations.

Once your community garden has been approved and set up, your garden will be eligible for Council funding through our roundtable discussion fund Stone Soup. Find out how to apply for the Stone Soup Fund.

In addition to the Council, there are various organisations that provide funding for eligible groups. Email the Community Gardens Network at as they may be able to suggest potential funders.

Compost grant

Each year the Council sets aside some Capital Compost to donate to community gardens and other growing projects. Eligible organisations can apply for the grant once every two years. Transport costs are not included.

For more information and to apply, check out the Capital Compost grant application form.

Contact us

Connected Communities


Phone: 04 499 4444