Volunteers planting
Image: Matt Sidaway | DOC


Join DOC on a day out enhancing habitat for New Zealand’s native freshwater fish species that call the lower Clutha River/Mata-Au catchment their home.


There will be several trips during October and November 2020. These will be on weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:30pm.


DOC together with Contact Energy are improving freshwater habitat within the lower Clutha by working to ensure tuna/longfin eel, kanakana/lamprey, inanga/whitebait, and giant kōkopu have a good place to call home and breed in.

We are planting specific areas in the catchment to enhance habitat and give better shade, shelter and food sources so these special native fish can grow and thrive. These plantings will also help stabilise edges, manage sediment, beautify areas and provide vegetation for insects and bird life. The current restoration sites are on the banks of beautiful meandering streams, rivers and lagoons on private farms.

What you’ll be doing

A day out in the field with our rangers will mostly involve planting native species such as flax, sedges, cabbage trees and toe toe, but could also involve assisting with laying out plants in the best places for growth and survival, and the important task of a photographer to record the good work being achieved.

The lower Clutha planting days offer a great chance to have hands on involvement with some important local conservation projects, set in beautiful locations, and all for the benefit of freshwater ecosystem health and the wonderful species that live within this environment.


Lower Clutha River/Mata-Au catchment area, 1 hour south of Dunedin.

Transport can be provided and will be leaving from John Wickliffe House, Princes St, Dunedin.

What's provided on the day

  • Transport (if required)
  • On the day health and safety and activity training
  • Tools
  • Gloves
  • Tea and coffee

What to bring

  • Long sleeved tops, long pants and covered footwear
  • A sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • If wet/cold bring waterproof layers and a warm hat
  • Food and drinking water

How to apply

Register to volunteer by completing the online application form.


If you have questions about this activity email volunteerscoastalota@doc.govt.nz.

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