Helping New Zealand build strong communities


Pacific Development and Conservation Trust

Mission / Whakatakanga
Purpose / Kaupapa
What we fund
Funding priorities
Who can apply?
How much to apply for
Making an application


The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust was established by the New Zealand Government on 23 May 1989. Funding of $3.2 million was received from France in recognition of the events surrounding the destruction of the Greenpeace 'Rainbow Warrior' ship in Auckland Harbour on 10 July 1985.

Every year the Trust has approximately $250,000 to distribute as grants to groups and individuals in the Pacific for a range of development and conservation projects.

Advisory Trustees

Advisory Trustees are appointed by the Minister having responsibility for disarmament and arms control (as a result of changes in the composition of Ministerial portfolios announced on 12 December 2011, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is now responsible for the responsibilities formerly included in the Disarmament and Arms Control portfolio).  The Advisory Trustees consider applications to the Trust and make recommendations to the Trustee (who is the Secretary for Internal Affairs) for the funding of grants.  The Advisory Trustees are:

  • Peter Kiely (Chair)
  • Glenys Dickson
  • Penehuro Lefale
  • Sam Johnson
  • Marie Hasler

Mission / Whakatakanga

The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust is committed to supporting sustainable development, where communities are engaged and working in partnership, with iwi, hapÅ«, aiga, the local indigenous people and communities.

Purpose / Kaupapa

The objectives of the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust are to encourage and promote

  • the enhancement, protection and conservation of the physical environment of the Pacific and of its natural and historic resources
  • the peaceful, economic, physical and social development of the Pacific and its peoples
  • peaceful conservation and development of the cultural heritage of the peoples of the Pacific
  • peace, understanding and goodwill between the peoples of the Pacific

What we fund

The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust funds a range of conservation, cultural heritage, development and goodwill projects in the Pacific.

Funding priorities

The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust funding priorities are projects that: 

  • promote social, cultural and economic self-sufficiency;
  • improve legal access to facilities or resources necessary for social, cultural and economic
  • improve health, living standards and quality of life;
  • involve protection of representative, endangered or threatened species;
  • conserve unique habitats or ecosystems;
  • promote the sustainable management and use of natural resources;
  • conserve or restore sites of significant historic, environmental or cultural heritage;
  • raise awareness of, or improve access to, historic, environmental or cultural heritage;
  • develop local communities’ capacities, particularly for indigenous ecological knowledge development; 
  • improve cooperation and communication between communities; and  
  • encourage peace, security and greater understanding between peoples, cultures and communities.

Projects that meet more than one of the Trust’s objectives and priorities are generally regarded as having greater priority for funding.

Grant decisions take into account:

  • the degree to which the Trust’s objectives and priorities are met;
  • the level of community involvement in the project;
  • the number and range of project benefits;
  • the environmental and economic sustainability of the project outcomes over time; and
  • any potential risks to the lives, livelihoods and environment of the peoples of the Pacific.

Generally, we do not fund: 

  • core salaries or on-going organisational operating and related costs;
  • the purchase of land or buildings;
  • school trips;
  • family reunions; and 
  • research projects submitted by current or intending tertiary students that are primarily linked to
    a course of personal study. 

Applications submitted by tertiary institutions or otherorganisations for projects that include activities undertaken by [post-graduate] tertiary students may be considered, to the extent that they address Trust objectives and priorities.

Projects must be based in the Pacific, and can also be in New Zealand.

Projects must be charitable and benefit Pacific countries.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be New Zealand or Pacific citizens.

Projects must benefit New Zealand or Pacific countries.

Eligible Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTS) are:

American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap), Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

How much to apply for

The Trust has approximately $250,000 each year to distribute. There is no minimum or maximum grant amount.  Grants made range from NZ$2000 to $50,000.

The average amount granted in 2015 was $12,851 and in 2014 it was $10,614.

Making an application