Whalers Bay at Rangatira/South-East Island

Image: Leon Berard | Creative Commons

Introduction

This programme provides a chance to work with some of New Zealand’s rarest and endemic threatened flora and fauna in a spectacular environment.

In this section

Description

The Chatham Islands DOC office has opportunities for New Zealand volunteers to participate in threatened species management work undertaken on Mangere and Rangatira (South East Island).

The islands lie 800 km east of New Zealand. Although much of the original vegetation has gone, the remnants of coastal forest and wetlands reveal a rich diversity of endemic flora and fauna.

Dates

Applications close 19 August 2019.

There are 6 volunteer activities planned this season. Dates given are for the trips expected flight dates to and from the Chatham Islands. 

Trips available are:

Trip 1: 25 September – 10 October 2019

Skills required: competence in forest bird survey work, reading colour bands, using GPS.  For two of the positions, experience with bird transects will be essential.

Trip 2: 11 October – 4 November 2019

Skills required: competence in forest bird survey work, reading colour bands, using GPS. 

Trip 3: 22 January – 10 February 2020

Skills required: For two of the positions L2 certification in banding seabirds is essential. For the third position wader handling skills are required.

Trip 4: 3 February – 10 February 2020

Skills required: For two of the positions L2 certification in banding seabirds is essential. For the third position wader handling skills are required.

Trip 5: 16 March – 30 March 2020

Skills required: competence in forest bird survey work, reading colour bands, using GPS.  L2 bird bander (passerines) an advantage.

Trip 6: 16 March – 10 April 2020

Skills required: competence in forest bird survey work, reading colour bands, using GPS.  L2 bird bander (passerines) essential for two of the positions.

Tasks

The fauna work will include monitoring populations of New Zealand shore plover, Chatham petrel, black robin, Forbes' parakeet, Chatham Island oystercatcher and forest birds.

Flora work includes planting, weed control (by hand and/or herbicides), seed collection, track clearance and other flora related work.

Volunteers will also assist with bio-security tasks and maintenance of island facilities.

What to expect

Participants should be prepared to work hard in a remote and demanding environment and live in basic but adequate communal hut conditions.

In return, the programme offers participants the opportunity to contribute to and further develop technical and conceptual skills in threatened species management.

Essential skills required

Ideally, participants should have:

  • accurate recording skills,
  • a moderate to high standard of fitness,
  • a current first aid certificate
  • an ability to work in all weathers
  • bush navigation skills
  • a high level of motivation
  • an ability to work and live in a close team situation
  • an ability to work independently in an isolated environment.

Costs and employment conditions

The Chatham Island District Office will cover the cost of air travel to and from the Chatham Islands from Wellington, Christchurch, or Auckland and will provide food and accommodation while in the Chatham Islands.

Volunteers will be expected to work a six-day (8-10 hour day) working week with a combination of up to 8 hours in the field and 2 hours data entry. There will be the provision for at least one complete day off a week or 2 half days when suitable.

Volunteers will mainly be based on the offshore islands of Mangere and Rangatira with a Department of Conservation Ranger who will lead and supervise the work. The work environment is isolated and the terrain can be rugged. At times volunteers will be required to work alone in wet and cold weather, over steep, muddy, rocky and exposed terrain.

Communication with New Zealand while on the islands is limited to emergency satellite phone calls. A VHF radio provides daily contact with the DOC office in Te One, on Chatham Island.

Transport on and off islands are very weather dependant and travel plans can be delayed for several days. Volunteers will need to be flexible and make the best use of their time in the different locations.

Selection process

Applicants must have the appropriate skills and fitness necessary to carry out the work as described in the trip briefs

Selection will be based on:

  • the application form and your skills
  • a telephone interview
  • a referee check
  • a medical questionnaire assessed by a DOC-appointed medical professional
  • if you're a New Zealand citizen/New Zealand resident – these get priority over international volunteers.

What to bring

You will be responsible for providing all the personal equipment listed in the participants information brief (PDF, 6341K)

How to apply

Complete the online form to apply

Contact

Rekohu / Wharekauri / Chatham Island Office
Phone:   +64 3 305 0098
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   chathamislands@doc.govt.nz
Address:   North Rd
Te One
Chatham Island
Postal Address:   PO Box 114
Waitangi
Chathams 8942
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