The Stephenson Fund
for Covenant Enhancement

Note: The Stephenson Fund applications are now closed. 

Stephenson Fund grants are available to support landowners with ongoing management and enhancement of their protected land. The keaim is to support stewardship for covenants by strengthening our partnership with covenantors. 

The fund was established in 2017, and is named after Gordon and Celia Stephenson who were key founders of the QEII National Trust. The Stephenson Fund comes from our internal resources, including donations, bequests and investment income.

Applications for the last round of funding closed on the 20th of December 2019. The dates for the next round of funding are yet to be confirmed, however we expect applications to open in August 2020. An email will be sent to members to inform them when the funding round is open, if you need to update your contact details please let us know online here.

If you think your project may be eligible for funding based on the key information below, talk to your regional rep about your project in preparation for the next funding round. 

Grants ranging from $2,000 up to a maximum amount of $20,000 are available to support landowners with the ongoing management and enhancement of their covenants open space values.  

A 50% contribution is required for most projects, this can either be financial or an in-kind contribution (i.e. your time).  

There is $150,000 available nationally and for the current round $30,000 of this will be prioritised towards hardship applications.  

All project actions must be aligned with the purpose and objectives of the covenant deed and protect and enhance the covenants open space values.  

In addition, the projects actions must be:   

  1. In a registered covenant 
  2. Priority work for the covenant (ask your local rep if uncertain) 
  3. Sustainable  
  4. Able to be completed within the next 12 months  
  5. Not required under a districtregional plan or a condition on a resource consent 

As the fund has been oversubscribed in the past, all projects will be assessed against a range of open-space criteria and priority may be given to covenantors who have not previously received a grant.  

Stewardship/engagement: The extent to which a project will provide enhanced opportunities for stewardship or engagement, this can be direct with the covenantors, locally in the community, regionally or nationally.    

Ecological enhancement: The extent to which a project will provide a direct positive impact on a rare or threatened speciesor their habitat. 

Hardship: All hardship applications must meet the above open space criteria$30,000 is available to support hardship applications and an application citing hardship can apply for up to 100% of the project costs through the grant or the applicants 50% contribution can be reduced (i.e. if other funding for the project is already secured).  

Recovery support for covenants that are badly affected by unforeseen extreme events, examples include:  

  1. Natural disasters (e.g. fire, earthquake, landslides, extreme weather events, etc).  
  2. Other circumstances outside covenantors control. 

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 
Landowners can apply for assistance with a wide range of projects to benefit the purpose and objectives of the protected area. Projects that have been funded in the past include:
  • 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)

The last round of funding closed in December 2019. The next funding round will likely open in August 2020. 

If you think your project may be eligible for funding based on the key information above, talk to your regional rep about your project and then download and submit an Application Form to:

The next funding round will likely open in August 2020.

To submit an invoice, you can either use our invoice template or use your own invoice.  

All invoices must include the following: 

  • Be for an approved Stephenson Fund project 
  • Be addressed to:
    Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust
    PO Box 3341
    WELLINGTON 6140 
  • Include: Your name, contact details, bank account number, covenant reference number, Stephenson Fund grant number, GST number (if registered), a description of what you are claiming for (associated receipts) and a record of your in-kind or financial contribution towards the project.  

To complete the reporting side of your project: please download, complete and submit a final report upon the completion of your project.  

You can choose to use our template form or feel free to use your own document 

All final reports must include: a summary of the project actions (what was achieved), a breakdown of the project expenditureincluding other funds/in-kind contributions towards the project, please provide a copy of all project receipts and before and after photos.   

You should discuss your project with your Regional Representative before submitting a funding application. Find your local Representative here or phone 0800 467 367 ext. 823.