Volunteers and DOC staff at the end of a hard day’s work doing giant snail surveys at Boundary Stream
Image: Lauren Buchholz | DOC


6 October - 28 May: Help check and maintain traps in Boundary Stream Mainland Island.

Volunteer Finn McCool checks a mustelid trap at Boundary Stream Mainland Island.
Volunteer Finn McCool checks a mustelid trap at Boundary Stream Mainland Island
Image: Lauren Buchholz

We're looking for suitably experienced volunteers to work at Boundary Stream Mainland Island on tasks such as trapping, trap maintenance, track cutting, general maintenance and biodiversity monitoring.

We offer you the chance to learn about front-line conservation efforts, develop new skills and experience and help us with the conserve our natural heritage. We are looking for people who can commit 8-weeks to build strong skills and have a meaningful experience.


Two volunteers required are for each of the following 8-week placements. This is for 32 hours per week from Tuesday to Friday, mostly during regular hours. Volunteers are off from Saturday to Monday, although you may be required to work additional hours on occasion.

  • 6 October – 27 November 2020
  • 2 February 2021 – 2 April 2021
  • 6 April – 28 May 2021

We are looking for people who are prepared to commit for the full 8-weeks and there's no restriction on the number of placements you can apply for.


Boundary Stream Mainland Island is located inland at Tūtira. It's approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes drive north of Napier including 20 minutes on an unsealed gravel road.

Volunteers will gain experience in the following work while you contribute to conservation at this Mainland Island. The work involves working with rangers and alone and includes handling dead animals and putting toxins into bait stations.

Preference is given to those who are or have studied in the field of ecological science, or who have undertaken other species and trapping work. Staff are not able to support internships or monitor practical work for academic programmes.

International volunteers in New Zealand who are eligible to remain for this time are welcome to apply. However, those not currently in the country are encouraged to wait until current border restrictions are lifted. Learn more.


The work is varied and includes:

  • Predator control trapping
  • Trap servicing, replacement and maintenance
  • Track cutting and marking
  • General maintenance around field base and volunteer quarters
  • Seabird translocation site maintenance and monitoring
  • Occasionally other tasks may come up as necessary e.g. assisting rangers at other locations.
  • Snail survey (October)
  • Rodent Monitoring (November/February)
  • 5-minute bird counts (April/May)
  • Kokako survey (April/May)

What to expect

Accommodation: The isolated location means that volunteers have the option of living on site. Shared accommodation is provided free and you must supply your own food. Your own transport is preferable.

What to bring: A full gear list is supplied with an information pack when you register your interest. All safety equipment and any transport required for the job are supplied. 

Fitness level required: Volunteers must have a high level of fitness and well-developed backcountry tramping skills. 

Experience required:

  • navigating in the bush
  • being off formed tracks
  • using a map and compass
  • have completed multi-day trips in the backcountry or have done similar work.

You will be required to work for short periods of time unsupervised so you must be confident unaccompanied off track in the bush.

How to apply

Complete the online application form. If your application matches our needs, we’ll contact you with more information. Be aware that background checks and references may be required.


For more information or to register your interest, contact:

Ahuriri / Napier Office
Phone:   +64 6 834 3111
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   napier@doc.govt.nz
Address:   59 Marine Parade
Napier 4110
Postal Address:   PO Box 644
Napier 4140
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