The Stephenson Fund
for Covenant Enhancement

Applications for the 2021 round of The Stephenson Fund have closed.

The Stephenson Fund was established in 2017 with the overarching objective of providing support for enhanced stewardship of covenants and to enhance our partnerships with covenantors. The fund is named after Gordon and Celia Stephenson, key founders of QEII National Trust (QEII).  

Below you will find information to assist if you are considering applying for a grant via the contestable Stephenson Fund.

Please read the broader application guidelines before completing an application form. The guidelines can be found here.

We recommend talking to your Regional Representative for site-specific advice or to discuss whether your project might be eligible for funding.  You can find your local representative here 

Applications for the Auckland Council Fund have closed.

If you live in the Auckland region you may be eligible for funding via the Auckland Council Fund

Please reach out to your Auckland Regional Representative to discuss this – find your Regional Representative here.

Please note, you will not be able to receive a grant from both contestable funds in the same year

Applications for the 2021 round of The Stephenson Fund have closed.

The 2021 fund opened for applications 6 August and closed on 3 October.  All applications must be submitted before the closure date to be considered.    

Projects must be designed to be completed within 12 months of a successful grant application being confirmed. 

Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in receiving a grant in this round mid November 2021.  

  1. You must be applying for a project on a registered QEII covenant.
  2. Please discuss your project with your Regional Representative for their advice an input before submitting an application, as this may increase your chances of a successful application. 
  3. All projects will be assessed against the extent to which they provide for stewardship, engagement with covenants, and the ecological enhancement of covenants.   
  4. Applications must include a 50% financial or in-kind contribution toward total project costs from the applicant, unless the application is due to hardship. 
  5. Hardship applications must also meet the criteria in No.2 above.  
  6. Applications will not be accepted for works that are a landowner’s obligation under their covenant agreement, or are required by a third party, e.g. are a condition of a resource consent (the exception being if an application is being made due to hardship). 
  7. The Stephenson Fund grants cannot be applied for to fund any retrospective activities or transactions already incurred prior to approval of the grant. 

Please see the Application Guidelines for further information.  

  • You can apply for a minimum grant of $2,300 and a maximum grant of $23,000 (note, these figures are inclusive of GST). 
  • Applications must include a 50% financial or in-kind contribution towards total project costs from the applicant, unless the application is due to hardship. For example, a $3,000 grant will require a $3,000 contribution from you for a total project costs of $6,000. 
  • There is a limited amount of funding available annually, a portion of which will be prioritised toward hardship applications.  QEII will assess applications via a criteria-based assessment process. 
  • Due to the limited amount of funding available, in certain situations QEII may suggest a reduced amount of funding to a projects proposed budget, and offer a partial funding grant.  

Projects that protect, restore and manage a covenant’s open space values.  

The objectives of the fund are to:  

  1. Enhance or sustain open space values in registered covenants 
  2. Provide support where hardship is the result of circumstances beyond a landowners control 

Projects that have been funded in the past:  

  • Pest animal and ecological weed control 
  • Fencing enhancements (for example; deer top-ups) 
  • Revegetation (all plantings must be eco-sourced) 
  • Signage or infrastructure to support recreational use
  • Support following extreme events (for example, slips, floods, fires, earthquakes) 

Quotes or pricing estimates are beneficial and would greatly support your application.   

Some examples of when a quote should be included:   

  • A contractor is undertaking some of the project actions  
  • Purchasing a product direct from a supplier (e.g. traps, plants, materials) 

If you are undertaking native eco-sourced planting you will need to provide a species list. Eco-sourcing guidelines are available here.  

Please discuss your project with your Regional Representative before applying, as this may increase your chances for a successful application. 

  • Please complete the online application form here.
  • If you are unable to use the online form, please download the form here and email your application to: 
  • If you are unable to use either of the options above, please print and post your completed application form to:
    The Stephenson Fund Coordinator, QEII National Trust, PO Box 3341, Wellington 6140

Please talk to your Regional Representative if you require support or assistance with your application.  You can find your local representative here 

If you have any queries about the application process, please email:

If you would like any advice on your proposed project, please contact your local regional representative. You can f
ind your local representative here

If you are considering applying, please read the following guidelines here before completing the application form