Shovels, post-planting, Motuihe Island
Image: Seamoor | Creative Commons

Introduction

Volunteers play a vital role in conservation in New Zealand. Find ideas for how you can get involved.

Highlights

There are lots of ways you can get involved, whether you take part in a DOC activity, join a local conservation group or take action in your own backyard.

Benefits of volunteering

Every day volunteers make significant contributions towards threatened species programmes, ecological restoration, the maintenance of recreation facilities and the restoration and maintenance of historic buildings.

Volunteering for conservation is fun, challenging, rewarding and can be a life-changing experience. You can make a difference while gaining new skills, getting fit and meeting new friends.

Volunteering for DOC

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and contribute to conservation in many different ways. Read our volunteer stories and find out what is possible with a bit of enthusiasm and dedication.

Find an activity that suits you

Getting started

Our guide to volunteering with DOC tells you what to expect, and things you need to consider when choosing and applying to volunteer with us.

If you have questions about any of our volunteer activities, get in touch directly with the contact person listed or contact your local DOC office. For general information about volunteering with DOC, email volunteer@doc.govt.nz.

Volunteers from the scarfie army.
Volunteers from the scarfie army planting at Tairoa Head

Volunteers painting Ida Railway Hut.
Volunteers painting Ida Railway Hut

Volunteering for other conservation groups

If you're unable to find a suitable activity with DOC, there are lots of other people doing great conservation work around the country.

Find out some of the community groups DOC works with

Nature Space is a great way to find groups, individuals and landowners undertaking ecological restoration in New Zealand.

You could also contact the following organisations, who work with volunteers:

How much time do you have?

Whether you've got 15 minutes to spare, or a whole day, every minute counts.

15 minutes

1 hour

  • Share your photos with DOC. We're often looking for images to use on our website and social media, on posters, brochures and other printed material.
  • Survey your shoreline with Marine Metre Squared, it's an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local intertidal seashore.
  • Build a wētā motel for your garden. You can place a wētā motel in a tree, under a tree and even on a fence post.

Volunteers at Living Legends planting day.
Volunteers at a Living Legends planting day

1 day

  • Put on your gumboots and join in a day of native tree planting with your local community. Find out what's happening near you on NatureSpace.
  • Organise a coastal clean-up. Rubbish on the coastline is unsightly and is a hazard for people and wildlife. Use the opportunity to advocate for waste minimisation in your local community.
  • Get involved in an conservation event near you.

1 week

Whale watching volunteers.
A group of ex-whalers volunteer each year with the Cook Strait whale survey

  • Become a volunteer hut warden or campsite host for a week or two. You'll get to stay in some fantastic places and help with manage and maintain our huts and campsites.
  • Join in with Conservation Week. Each year, Conservation Week gives Kiwis the opportunity to celebrate New Zealand's special places and native wildlife.
  • Spend a week maintaining DOC tracks, huts or historic sites and spend time in one of New Zealand's incredible national parks.

1 month

1 year

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