How the Foundation Works


As a fund manager we welcome corporate grants, legacies and bequests, gifts and donations and contributions from philanthropists. Strict criteria underpin the Foundation's investment strategy.


  • Protect and sustain New Zealand's natural landscapes, habitats and species.
  • Have demonstrable management and governance controls in place.
  • Encourage community participation in natural heritage conservation.
  • Have a serious scale and impact, with a minimum spend of NZD$0.5 million over 3 years.
  • Address a specific problem or threat.
  • Be based on robust scientific research and analysis.
  • Make a measurable difference to conservation outcomes at defined milestones.

The Foundation has a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Conservation. This enables us to provide independent trusteeship of private sector funds contributed to departmental programmes, and ensure that these are applied strictly to the purpose for which they were contributed.

We are not limited to providing funding for the Department of Conservation, and can provide funding to any projects that meet our criteria. While we have an existing portfolio of projects in which donors may invest, we also work with potential donors and investors to identify additional projects and programmes where there is a specific interest or outcome sought.

Administration costs are mostly covered by separate grants, which allows almost all donated money to be applied directly to the intended conservation project. All monies are tracked, monitored and accounted for.


The kōkako belongs to the New Zealand wattlebirds, an ancient family of birds which includes the North and South Island saddleback and the extinct huia.


Standing height averages 45 centimetres.

Average weight for adults is 230 grams.

Kōkako are known for the clarity and volume of their song, which carries far across the forest. In the early morning, a pair may sing a duet for up to half an hour with other kōkako joining in to form a bush choir.