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Volunteering in New Zealand
Conservation Volunteers is a not-for-profit organisation that recruits and manages teams of volunteers to work on environmental and wildlife conservation projects. Since 1982, it has grown to become the largest conservation organisation in Australasia.
In 2009 alone, volunteer hours have contributed to more than $15 million of practical assistance to the preservation of the Australian and New Zealand environments. Their expertise in managing volunteer involvement in conservation projects is widely recognised. However, their most important achievement is giving ordinary people, just like you, the chance to connect with our environment.
What do you do as a volunteer?
There are more than 2000 projects completed each year. These include tree-planting, seed collection, endangered species protection, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, walking track construction, fencing and environmental monitoring. Because projects vary in duration teams may participate for one day, a weekend, a whole week or longer. The choice is yours.
There are 6 – 10 people in each team and volunteers come from a wide range of countries, ages and cultures. You don’t require any previous training or special skills, but a good level of physical fitness is helpful. Conservation Volunteers provides transport, all the gear for the job, First Aid kits and the required insurance coverage.
Where are the projects located?
Punakaiki – Set on the beautiful West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, this project focuses on habitat restoration of coastal land adjacent to Paparoa National Park. Volunteers help out with a variety of tasks in a stunning location- including tree planting, seed collection and removal of weeds. Punakaiki is home to the world-famous Pancake Rocks, and provides a wonderful opportunity to explore this unique coastal landscape.
Tawharanui – Set on a remote peninsula, Tawharanui Regional Park boasts some of the region`s most beautiful white sand beaches, rolling pastures, shingled bays, native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands. Restoration of this incredible landscape has resulted in many endangered birds being able to be reintroduced including the rare bird and New Zealand icon, the flightless kiwi. Volunteers will enjoy a night time excursion to hear the sounds of the kiwi in the Tawharanui bush. For other projects in New Zealand, visit the website.
How to get involved
All you have to do is register via Conservation Volunteers or give them a call on Freephone 0800 567 686 (within New Zealand) or +61 9 623 7282 from anywhere in the world.
"I enjoyed meeting the team leaders who were amazing to work with – helpful, friendly and overall nice guys. Also getting to work out in the more rural areas and experience things that not many people get to see or do."
- Anna Glenwright, Biodiversity Project, Matakana Island, New Zealand