Get involved with conservation groups working with DOC in Northland.

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:

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. 

Ahipara Community Coastcare Group

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.

Aroha Island Eco Centre website

Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc

Aim: This umbrella organisation is concerned with improving the health of the marine environment in the Bay of Islands. It has two working groups: Fish Forever and Living Waters. 

Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc website

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

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.

Birds New Zealand website

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 Bay Coastal Care Trust

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. 

Bream Head Conservation Trust website

Bushland Trust

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.

Bushland Trust website

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.

Far North Whale Rescue on Facebook

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 or +64 9 524 0291

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 Rarawa Beach Facebook page

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

Aim: Restoring the pest-free island sanctuaries of Ipipiri, in the eastern Bay of Islands, to their natural state and bringing the native birdsong back to the islands. The Guardians co-ordinate Project Island Song in partnership with DOC and local Rawhiti hapu. Volunteers carry out regular native plantings during the winter months.

Project Island Song website
Project Island Song Facebook page

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.

Herekino Landcare Group project on Weedbusters website

Contact: Mike Finalyson 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 or +64 21 608 975 

Kerikeri Basin Weedbusters

Aim: Fighting the invasion of unsightly and invasive weeds in the Basin Reserve in the heart of Kerikeri. Weeds include Japanese honeysuckle, Tradescantia, tobacco trees, and Taiwan cherry. The DOC Bay of Islands office supports the group by supplying working gear, herbicides and labour, and also helps the group coordinate special weekend weedbusting days which are advertised in local papers.

Contact: David Fisher or +64 9 407 5244

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.

Mahinepua Radar Hill Landcare Group website

Contact: Marj Cox

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. 

New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust website

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. 

Pukenui Forest Charitable Trust website

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.

Puketi Forest Trust website

Russell Landcare Trust

Aim: Bush restoration and pest control on the Russell Peninsula – successfully reintroduced the endangered North Island weka to the peninsula. Volunteers can get involved in planting and weeding days, native bird translocations and learn how to reduce animal pests.

Contact: Heather Lindauer

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 or +64 9 406 0747

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