Climate and Sustainability Fund

This fund supports communities and businesses in Wellington city to undertake climate action

Fund details

Closing date: Thursday 27 October 2022
Contact: Raven Maeder, Community and Funding Activator - Climate Action:
Value:  $250,000 per financial year for five years (2021-2026).  See past allocations (199KB PDF)

About this fund 

The Climate and Sustainability Fund is an initiative in the Council's Te Atakura - First to Zero climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, or create a culture of climate change action.

To learn more about what climate change means for Wellington, the work Council is doing and what you can do to take action, look at what we're doing about climate change - Wellington City Council 

Applicants must be a legal entity, those groups or organisations that are not can apply using an umbrella agreement with another organisation, Applications are made through the online funding portal. See the funding calendar for closing and decision dates.

Only project expenses that start after the decision date are eligible for funding.

First-time applicants

Read the information on this page, then register and apply online through our funding portal: Funding Portal - Apply online

Check your application status

If you've already applied for funding, you can log in to the funding portal to check the status of your application or add information.

Go to Funding Portal

Fund criteria

Initiatives must be designed to achieve at least one of the following aims of the fund;

1. Advance Wellingtonians' understanding and uptake of the climate action challenge thereby contributing to meeting our 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction goals

  • Preference for these grants will be initiatives that create impact beyond themselves
  • Initially the bulk of the fund will be allocated to these types of initiatives that significantly reduce emissions

2. Reduce carbon emissions significantly in the shorter term thereby contributing to the city's 2030 carbon reduction target.

  • Preference for these grants will be to initiatives that significantly reduce emissions
  • The percentage of the fund allocated to this purpose will increase over the lifetime of the fund


To be eligible to apply to this fund, applicants must: 

  • be a legal entity (or community group using an umbrella), this includes Maori entities, schools, social enterprises or businesses
  • be willing to partner with Wellington City Council to share knowledge, learning and support our Te Atakura - First to Zero strategy
  • be based in Wellington city, or deliver benefits within the Wellington City Council rate paying area (up to and including Tawa, but not Porirua or Petone)
  • demonstrate capability and capacity to deliver the type of project proposed, and preferably have a track record of delivering similar projects.

Note: applications will not be accepted for initiatives that move emissions out of Wellington city boundary.

What we are unlikely to fund

  • Projects which don't have a strong climate action and/or carbon emissions reduction focus
  • Political advocacy
  • Legal action


Priority will be given to projects that:

  • demonstrate equity across communities in relation to access to climate action information and ability to act
  • are governed by, and/or developed in partnership with mana whenua
  • lead towards a net zero-carbon economy by 2050
  • demonstrate collaboration and co-funding (including in-kind)
  • have a plan to be self-sustaining and financially viable post Council funding.  


Applications will be assessed by our external review panel (see below) based on the following assessment criteria;

  • Measurable change; the initiative has tangible outcomes that can be measured and produce learnings that can contribute to a broader movement of change. 

AND Deliverable; the initiative is ready and able to be delivered within the timeframe stated.   

  • Impact; there is clear evidence that the initiative will contribute to building a culture of climate change action and/or reduce carbon emissions.
  • Scalable; the initiative has the ability to be scaled (or replicated) to increase the impact over time.
  • Legacy; the initiative can deliver ongoing benefit and/or demonstrate the potential for lasting long-term impact.
  • Unintended consequences; the applicant has identified (where possible) and considered unintended socio-cultural, economic or environmental impacts (positive or negative). 

External review panel

All eligible applications to this fund will be assessed, reviewed and moderated by a panel of External Asessors who bring a bringing deep climate action perspective, including Māori perspectives and are from a mix of business and public sector.

Current External Review Panel members

Kaapua Smith (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Awa) has a background in corporate sustainability and community and tangata whenua engagement. She has previously worked as the Head of Sustainability at Contact Energy and held roles in the Office of the Minister of Maori Affairs and Minister of Whanau Ora. She is currently a Trustee of WWF New Zealand and Nga Wairiki ki Uta Trust, a Hapū Trust based in Whanganui and works at KPMG NZ. Kaapua’s work on this external review panel is outside her role at KPMG.

Karl Check runs a specialist climate change consultancy Foreseeable, and started his sustainability career in Wellington at KiwiRail. Karl has also performed the role of mentor in climate hackathons and is well versed on the initiatives that will deliver impact and create co-benefits for communities.

William Woods is currently Strategic Planning Manager at CentrePort Ltd. William has over 25 years' experience working in resource and environmental management, in both public and private sectors. He brings extensive knowledge of climate action and sustainability and has a particular interest in promoting effective collaboration between business and community.

Alison Howard is Manager Climate Change Response at Wellington City Council.

Contact us

Raven Maeder, Community and Funding Activator – Climate Action
Mobile: 021 229 4151