Listed below are some volunteer based groups that you can get involved with. You'll learn new skills, meet like-minded people, contribute to conservation, and increase your connection to your local community and natural spaces.
For more conservation volunteer opportunities in Northland:
About Tern Waipu
Aim: To bring back the tara iti/fairy tern from the brink of extinction. About Tern Waipu carry out behavioural observations and predator and weed control to protect NZs most endangered breeding bird.
Ahipara Community Coastcare Group
Aim: To protect and restore the dune environment of 90 Mile Beach (Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe) in the Ahipara area to make it a safe place for dotterels and other shorebirds and for everyone to enjoy. You can help by assisting with removing weeds, raising seeds, joining working bees, organising school projects or offering a donation.
Aroha Island Charitable Trust
Aim: Manages and cares for the beautiful open space of Aroha Island, near Kerikeri, which is entirely run by volunteers. You can get involved with ongoing restoration and conservation work or assist with organised activities.
Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc (BOIMP)
Aim: This organisation is concerned with improving the catchments and the health of the marine environment in the Bay of Islands. Our vision is "waking up to brimming biodiversity – native naturally." Our mission is "restoring native life on land, freshwater and sea – dream by dream." BOIMP Inc has two working groups: Fish Forever focussing on the marine environment and Living Waters-BOI focussing on freshwater and catchments.
Bay of Islands Walkways Trust
Aim: The trust has constructed and matintains an off-road walking track from Okiato to Russell, linking to the existing Paihia to Opua coastal track via the vehicle ferry which runs from Opua to Okiato. You can get involved in the ongoing maintenance of the tracks and boardwalks.
Bay of Islands Walkways Trust website has more walking and cycling tracks in the area.
Birds New Zealand (Far North)
Aim: Studying the birds of New Zealand. This includes their feeding and breeding habits, where they live, how long they live, what they look like, how to distinguish them from other similar birds, and what their enemies and friends are. The Far North Region covers north of the Hokianga through Kawakawa to the coast.
Bream Bay Coastal Care Trust
Aim: To help care for and enhance the 700 ha of coastal land held by DOC in Bream Bay. Volunteers can help with weeding, planting, working bees and planning projects.
Bream Head Conservation Trust
Aim: To restore Bream Head's natural environment to healthy forest and abundant bird song, preserve archeological and historic sites within the sreserve and enhance the recreation and education potential of the reserve.
Aim: To preserve and restore the Sweetwater Lakes (Lake Ngatu, Lake Rotoroa, and Lake Heather). Volunteers can get involved in planting and clearing, raising seeds and growing trees, working bees and school projects.
Far North Whale Rescue
Aim: Provides a first response to whale strandings in the Far North. You can join the group, make a donation or attend a whale resuce training workshop.
Friends of Rangikapiti Reserve
Aim: To win the war on weeds at Rangikapiti, an iconic reserve between Coopers Beach and Mangonui; and to prevent the invasive weed asparagus scandens, from spreading over to the Hihi block where Whakaangi Landcare Trust manage Northland brown kiwi.
Contact: Alison Staines email@example.com or +64 9 524 0291
Friends of Rangitane Stream
Aim: Developing wildlife corridors along the margins of Rangitane Stream and related streams and wetlands to protect at-risk native species, enhance native biodiversity, and improve water quality. We're planting native trees, removing target weeds, reducing sediment run-off, collaborating with other groups to control predators, and other activities to support vulnerable native species that dwell along the stream, such as kiwi and dabchick/weweia.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 176 0211.
Friends of Rarawa Beach
Aim: To preserve and re-generate the Rarawa Beach coastline. Work includes regular stoat trapping to protect endangered New Zealand dotterels, growing and planting native plants, and getting local schools involved.
Friends of Taumarumaru
Aim: Preserving the historic features of Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve and improving the quality of the bush and access for visitors. Projects include weed control, native tree planing, enhancement of Taumarumaru Pa, Otanenui Pa and Ohumumu Pa sites.
Contact: Gerald Messenger +64 9 406 2201
Guardians of the Bay of Islands / Project Island Song
Aim: That the seven main islands in the eastern Bay of Islands remain a pest mammal free wildlife sanctuary and ensure the natural eco-systems continue to be restored for future generations.
Donors, volunteers and supporters are helping to bring back birdsong to the islands, note by note. You can join in too, visit:
Herekino Landcare Group
Aim: Eradication of Kahili ginger in the northern catchment of the Herekino Harbour. Ginger threatens to smother the native forest. Volunteers can help with clearing wild ginger, joining working bees, organising school projects and donations.
Contact: Mike Finalyson email@example.com or +64 9 409 3077
Kaitaia 4WD Club
Aim: To improve the image of recreational four wheel drivers by joining forces with DOC, the local community and iwi to protect valuable midden sites along the west coast south of Ninety Mile beach. The Tauroa middens are the remnants of seasonal camping sites used by iwi during food gathering expeditions. Volunteers check and repair fences around the middent sites.
Contact: Mark Patterson firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 608 975
Kerikeri Basin Weedbusters
Aim: We kill invasive alien plants in the Kerikeri Basin Reserve and the Kerikeri River Scenic Reserve to rehabilitate our species-rich lowland tōtara/broadleaf forest. Targets include climbers like jasmine, moth plant, honeysuckle, black-eyed Susan, German ivy, passionfruit, climbing asparagus; trees and shrubs like Taiwan cherry, tobacco weed, Bangalow palm; and ground cover like African club moss, Tradescantia, Kahiki ginger. Most of Northland's finest weeds are here.
Contact: Barbara Parris email@example.com
Aim: The Kiwi Coast is a collaborative initiative that links over 170 community-led conservation projects, iwi and hapū, schools, forestry companies, government agencies and organisations. It has the shared vision of restoring the health of our native forests, helping native wildlife thrive and increasing Northland kiwi numbers.
Contact: Ngaire Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Mahinepua Radar-Hill Landcare Group Inc.
Aim:Protecting kiwi, all endangered species and their habitat with managed predator control. The group educates others on how to help protect endangered species by controlling pests in the Tauranga Bay to Mahinepua Bay area. They also help set up traplines; identify species threats; monitor kiwi; hold Kiwi Avoidance Training School’s (KATS) for dogs; participate in DOC’s Kiwi listening data collection; carry out kiwi advocacy; and hold or attend predator control workshops. Volunteer members and a contract trapper work over all of our management area.
Contact: Vicky Faautauta (Secretary) email@example.com
New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust
Aim: To help the New Zealand fairy tern survive and prosper. Each summer volunteers are needed to help keep an eye on these tiny, plucky birds.It is very rewarding to observe courtship, sitting on eggs and the hatching of the bumble bee sized chicks and eventually watching them learning to fly. Introductory workshops are held where you get to meet other volunteers.
Pukenui Forest Charitable Trust Inc
Aim: To care for and enhance the biodiversity values of Pukenui Forest and the Western Hills near Whangārei City, preserve archeological and historic sites within the sreserve and enhance the recreation and education potential of the reserve.
Puketi Forest Trust
Aim: To restore Puketi Forest to a complete living forest and maintain it for future generations.The forest contains magnificent stands of kauri, podocarp and hardwood trees and a rich ecological diversity. Volunteers can get involved with bird counts, kiwi call listening, invertebrate monitoring and trap checking, or you can sponsor an area or make a donation.
Russell Landcare Trust (Russell Kiwi Protection)
Aim: Native biodiversity restoration and pest control on the Russell Peninsula in the Bay of Islands. Involved in the successful reintroduction of the endangered North Island weka to the peninsula. Russell Kiwi Protection, a Russell Landcare Trust initiative, is an ecological restoration project involving a large group of keen locals who work together on intensive predator control to protect and enhance the peninsula’s diverse and often rare native plants, birds and animals. Volunteers can get involved in planting and weeding days, dune restoration, and predator control in the field and at home.
Taipa Coastcare Trust
Aim: Construct and maintain access ways to Taipa Beach, and planting spinifex and pingao. Vounteers release spinifex from weeds, maintain the walkways and fences, run planting days and work with the local school and residents to help change attitudes and behaviour.
Contact: Margaret Foster firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 9 406 0747
Tangihua Lions Lodge
Aim: To bring the birdsong back to Tangihua Forest and prevent further decline of native species in the ngahere. The Tangihua Lions Lodge community group undertake pest control targeting mustelids, possums and rats within the forest and surrounding farmland. They also have a focus on conservation education. Volunteer to help this project while enjoying a lovely day out in the bush.
Aim: Tutukaka Landcare are involved in pest animal and plant control as well as bird monitoring and habitat restoration. They have successfully reintroduced endangered brown teal ducks/pāteke to Northland's East Coast. They also monitor resident populations of North Island brown kiwi, grey faced petrels, little blue penguins and other key species.
Weed Action Piroa-Brynderwyns
Aim: To stop invasive weeds from taking over the incredible natural environment we all value. Weed action Piroa-Brynderwyns is a community group that are working to clear weeds from the Piroa-Brynderwyn ranges, raise public awareness about invasive weeds in the area and support those trying to clear weeds from their properties.
Weed Action Whangarei Heads
Aim: To stop the spread of invasive weeds around Whangarei Heads. Weed Action groups have regular volunteer days where the focus is on tackling weeds in local reserves and forests. Check the link below to find how you can get involved.