BNZ Foundation launches inaugural funding programme for biodiversity and financial wellbeing


The BNZ Foundation is officially open for applications for its new Flagship Partnerships funding programme.

Backed by a $10.5m gift from the sale of BNZ’s art collection, the independent charitable trust is calling on future-focused charities and social enterprises to apply now. Two grants are available, with each of the selected partners receiving up to $450,000 in funding over a three-year period.

“The BNZ Foundation has been established to accelerate positive change by giving charities and social enterprises the boost they need to make a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders,” says Dan Huggins, BNZ CEO and Chair of the BNZ Foundation.

“We’re excited to see the transformative projects that emerge from this funding programme.”

The Foundation’s Mandate

The BNZ Foundation has chosen two focus areas to target its partnerships funding:

  • The Manaaki Taiao grant follows Kaitiakitanga (care for our natural environment) principles and focuses on biodiversity regeneration. The grant will provide significant financial support to the chosen partner that is working to protect and regenerate New Zealand’s natural environment.
  • The Manaaki Tangata grant, centred on Manaakitanga (care for people and communities) principles, is dedicated to enhancing financial wellbeing. This grant backs work that addresses financial hardship, improves access to financial services, and encourages innovation to boost financial wellbeing.

“The BNZ Foundation is an extension of the great work our people, and our partners, are already doing to deliver for our communities. The focus on Kaitiakitanga and Manaakitanga principals aligns with BNZ’s sustainability strategy and our vision of creating a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Aotearoa,” says Mr Huggins.

In addition to the two major partnership grants, the BNZ Foundation will be launching a series of smaller grants later in the year.

BNZ Foundation Trustee John McCarthy, says, “Drawing from my experience in the community sector and within the philanthropic sector, I’ve seen the power of targeted funding. It will be great to see the BNZ Foundation help enable more for-purpose organisations to drive positive change in our communities.”

Organisations with the ability and capacity to make a substantial positive impact in the communities they serve are encouraged to apply for the Flagship Partnerships programme. Successful applicants will be those that demonstrate an ability to deliver and have a clear view of the impact the funding will have.

Mr Huggins says, “We look forward to working with innovators who share our vision of accelerating positive change for the communities we all live and work in. Collectively, we can contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future for New Zealand.

Expressions of Interest open today. For more information and to apply, visit