Guidelines for Enhanced Access Grant applicants

The Commission will be opening applications for the first round of applications for 2020-2021 Enhanced Access Grants after the new financial year has begun.

The Walking Access Act came into effect in 2008 to “provide the New Zealand public with free, certain, enduring, and practical walking access to the outdoors (including around the coast and lakes, along rivers, and to public resources) so that the public can enjoy the outdoors”.

The Commission established the Enhanced Access Grants to facilitate the involvement of individuals and organisations in access projects across New Zealand.

Applicants should be aware that the funding for the grants is intended to be self-sustaining and this may limit the Commission’s ability to satisfy all applications.

What are the priorities for funding?

Funding will be prioritised towards contributing to projects that help to secure certain and enduring access to the outdoors for future generations. For example, the cost of negotiation to secure access agreements, the legal or survey costs of obtaining access, or the costs of obtaining Resource Management Act consents.

Other priorities, in descending order of priority, include:

  • information including signs;

  • developing and improving walking opportunities through installing gates, stiles and fences and the cost of obtaining professional reports such as engineering reports; and

  • supporting community walking access projects, including infrastructure and administration. Funding infrastructure including bridges and boardwalks is low priority.


The Enhanced Access Grants cannot be used for:

  • activities that could reasonably be expected to be carried out by applicants on their own account; or

  • for personal or commercial profit.

^ Top

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

As well as individuals, the following groups and organisations are eligible to apply to the Enhanced Access Grants:

  • community organisations;

  • territorial authorities in combination with community organisations;

  • umbrella/lead organisations applying on behalf of local groups;

  • iwi/hapu;

  • administering authorities of walkways; and

  • access-related groups or organisations.

The Commission is keen to attract applications that show individuals, community groups and/or organisations working together to enhance outdoor access in their localities. In some situations the local authority may be best placed to coordinate the project and assist with completing an application.

Territorial authorities themselves are not eligible unless combined with a community organisation.

Central government agencies are not eligible.

^ Top


To achieve maximum impact from funding allocations the Commission prefers to see evidence of partnerships, including contributions from the applicant and other interested parties. Where other parties are involved applicants should provide letters of support showing how each individual, group or organisation will contribute to the project. This might involve financial assistance, non-cash support or both. Non-cash support could include materials, sponsored business services and/or volunteer labour.

^ Top

What types of activities are eligible for funding?

Given the Commission's priorities (see "What are the priorities for funding" above), the following types of project activities are likely to be carried out by applicants:

  • obtaining certain and enduring access through negotiation and legal processes to secure access agreements.

The following are lesser priorities. Availability of grant funds for these priorities will only be considered once higher priority applications have been considered.

  • providing access signage on either public or private land; and,

  • developing and improving walking opportunities through the installation of gates, stiles and fences, and obtaining professional reports such as engineering reports, on either private or public land.

The grants will not pay for retrospective costs.

^ Top

How much funding is available?

The second application process for 2019-20 funding has been suspended.

For the 2019-2020 funding round, $100,000 (excluding GST) is available for distribution via an application process.

A maximum of $25,000 may be allocated for any one project. However, given the total amount available the Commission also expects to support smaller projects.

Applicants may seek funding for projects that require up to two years to complete, and periodic reporting will be required.

Funds will be distributed across the duration of the project.

Applicants that are GST registered will be required to provide the Commission with a GST invoice when making a claim for payment. The Commission will need evidence of GST registration.

^ Top

What do I need to include in the application?

Please ensure you fill out all of the required sections in the application form. Clear advice on exactly what the grant would be spent on and when that expenditure would occur is important. For example, ‘legal costs’ should be specified and include what the legal services would provide, and ‘survey’ should be specified in detail. Similarly, applications for signage, stiles, track markers etc should be as detailed as sensible. This information is best addressed in Section C of the application form: Project Milestones.

All applications should identify how the community will benefit from the project, detail of other funders (if any) and how much each funder will be contributing or has been asked to contribute.

If you are a registered charity, trust, incorporated or are required to prepare financial statements, please attach a set of your most recent financial statements with your application.

We welcome information about how you found out about the Enhanced Access Grants as this will assist us with future promotion.

On completion of the project, the Commission welcomes feedback on the impact the project has had and the applicant’s impression of the Enhanced Access Grants funding process.

^ Top

Who will evaluate the applications?

Applications will be evaluated by a Commission-appointed panel and the Board of the Commission will make the final funding decisions.

^ Top

What will the Commission be looking for?

Applicants will need to provide evidence that they meet the eligibility requirements as described above. In addition, the Commission will consider how projects could contribute to one or more of the following:

  • providing free, certain, enduring and practical access for the public; and

  • enhancing opportunities for outdoor access.

The quality of the project plan, the ability of the project team to successfully complete the project, and the quality of the outcome will also be taken into account.

The Commission reserves the unrestricted right, however, to:

  • not apply all of the amount set aside for the funding round; and/or

  • fund a lesser amount than sought by the applicant; and/or

  • not accept any application.

^ Top

How do I submit an application?

The second application process for 2019-20 funding has been suspended.

To ensure applications can be evaluated in a fair way, all applicants must use the Commission's Application Form.

or by contacting the Commission (see below).

In many instances, additional supporting information may be needed (e.g. letters of support, plans, drawings, map references and photographs).

All applications must be sent by post, with original documents. Applications may be emailed but the originals must also be posted.

Applications should not be bound or stapled as the Commission needs to replicate them for the evaluation process. Please, do not send multiple copies of your application.


The application form requires applicants to declare the information provided is true and correct and acknowledge that, if successful, a legal agreement will be drawn up between the applicant and the Commission.

This agreement will cover, for example, project approval, project details, start and finish dates, financial accountability, reporting requirements and contact details.

^ Top

Application deadlines

This year the Commission will be accepting applications on a six-monthly basis.

Your application must be received at the Commission by the following dates to be considered for grant funding in any particular round.

Round 1

Closing date: 30 September 2019
Applicants advised by: 30 November 2019

Round 2

The second application process for 2019-20 funding has been suspended.

^ Top

Who can I talk to about a potential project?

Please contact us if you have any other questions or want clarification. If you are wondering about the eligibility of a potential project we would be happy to discuss it with you before effort is invested in preparing an application.

Initial discussion

Please contact the regional field advisor in your area if you wish to discuss a project that may qualify for funding with a Commission representative. This is the person who will be monitoring successful applications in your area.

Procedural matters

Name: Joy Yang
Position: Corporate Services Advisor | Te Kaitohutohu Ratonga Rangapū

DDI: 04 815 8502 

^ Top


We will acknowledge receipt of all applications. Once funding decisions have been made all applicants will receive notification in writing.

^ Top

Further information about the Commission

If you have any other questions related to the work of the Commission please contact us.

^ Top
Page last updated: May 21, 2020, 1:09 PM