The Stephenson Fund
for Covenant Enhancement

The Stephenson Fund was established in 2017 with the key aim to support stewardship for QEII covenants by strengthening our partnership with covenantors. The fund is named after Gordon and Celia Stephenson, key founders of the QEII National Trust.   

If you think your project may be eligible for funding based on the key information below, talk to your regional rep about your project and then download and submit an application form to: thestephensonfund@qeii.org.nz  

Applications for the current round are now closed.

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

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

A 50% contribution is required for most projects from the applicant, this can either be financial or an in-kind contribution (i.e. your time). For example, a $2,000 grant will require a $2,000 contribution from you, for a total project cost of $4,000. 

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:   

  • In a registered QEII covenant 
  • Priority work for the covenant (ask your local rep if uncertain) 
  • Sustainable  
  • Not required under a district, regional plan or a condition on a resource consent 
  • Able to be completed within the next 12 months  

As the fund has been oversubscribed in the past, all projects will be assessed against a range of open-space criteria. These are listed below. 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 species, or the habitat for 

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

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

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).  

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) 

The current round is now closed. Results will be announced by early November 2020.   

The next funding round will open in August 2021. 

Please discuss your project with your regional rep before applying. Applications will not be considered if the regional rep is not aware of the project.  

For some projects, a quote would be beneficial and will greatly support your application.  

Some examples where a quote is required:  

  • 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 ecosourced planting, please provide a species list. Ecosourcing guidelines are available here 

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

All invoices must be for an approved Stephenson Fund project and be addressed to:  

Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust
PO Box 3341
WELLINGTON 6140 

Invoices must include:  

  • Your name and 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) 
  • A record of your in-kind or financial contribution towards the project 

You will need to download, complete, and submit a final report upon the completion of your project.  

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

All final reports must include: a summary of what the project achieved, any project receipts not yet submitted, a summary of the in-kind work undertaken, any other financial contributions and before and after photos.   

Please talk to your regional rep for site-specific advice or to discuss whether your project might be eligible for funding. 

Find your local representative here