NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust

The New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust, established under the 1953 Wildlife Act, exists primarily to improve New Zealand game bird habitat and secondarily to improve the habitat of other wildlife.

Game Bird Habitat Trust Logo Small 0The primary purpose of the Game Bird Habitat Trust Board is to distribute funding for the development and enhancement of habitat for the benefit of game birds and other wetland inhabitants.

The Game Bird Habitat Trust is the sole body dedicated to providing financial backing for hunting and conservation in New Zealand.

It has been influential in supporting many projects by recognising that often all that is needed to enable a project to go ahead is a modest grant.

If you have a commitment to conserve and own or help manage land that is capable of supporting game birds, the Trust Board would like to help you create or restore suitable habitat.

Apply for a New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust Board grant using the application form below. Applications close on 30 June each year.

Click here to watch a video about the Trust and the work that it does.

Current Trust Board

The New Zealand Game Bird Trust Board appointed by the Minister of Conservation until 30 June 2023 are:

Andy Tannock (previous chair) - Chairperson

Mark Sutton (previous board member) - nominated by NZ Fish and Game Council

Chantal Whitby (new board member) - nominated by NZ Fish and Game Council

Neil Candy (new board member) - nominated by Ducks Unlimited Inc.

John Cheyne (previous board member, new DG nominee) - nominated by the Director-General of Conservation

The functions of the Trust Boards are set out in Section 44D of the Wildlife Act 1953. 

The board’s primary focus is applying the net receipts from the Habitat Stamp programme as grants to applicants for the protection, restoration, improvement, creation, or procurement of game bird or other wildlife habitats.

The Trust Board can also:

Major Projects

The Habitat Trust Board is working with wider community interests in implementing a wetland management and restoration plan involving singular large projects in both the North and South Island.

This has included the Para Wetland near Blenheim and Takitakitoa near Dunedin.  It is currently considering how to help with the JK Donald Block on the northeastern edge of Lake Wairarapa and the Underwood Wetland near Dargaville.  

These projects are ranked highly by the Habitat Trust Board for the development of a sponsorship package based on game bird and other wildlife habitat enhancement potential.

Grants provided each year

The money raised each year from game bird habitat stamps is transferred from Fish and Game Councils to the Game Bird Habitat Trust. 

The Trust Board uses this money to help create and enhance habitat for the benefit of game birds and other wildlife. 

Applications for grants close on June 30 each year and are open to anyone with support from the landowner and a recognised habitat referee. 

For more information about the Trust or how to apply for a grant, please refer to the forms below or contact your local Fish & Game office.

Applications are to be returned as an electronic file by 30 June to the NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust via email:

Grant Application Form (PDF)
Grant Application Form (MS Word)
Referees Report Form (PDF)
Referees Report Form (MS Word)
Habitat Enhancement Agreement (PDF)

Direct Grants for tree planting from the One Billion Trees Fund

The New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust has partnered with MPI's One Billion Trees programme to subsidise landowners planting retired lands around their wetlands.

To qualify for this fund, applicants must first hold an approved Habitat Grant from the GBHT.  Applications are processed on receipt and require support from a Fish & Game Council referee.

Click here for an application form.