Image: Brian Dobbie | DOC


If you're on the West Coast and aged between 5 to 18 years, you have a chance to add your nature stories to conservation week history. By sharing your story you'll be helping Conservation Week and protecting our native taonga. Competition closes 31 August 2019.

Who can enter

You need to be:

  • 5 to 18 years old, and
  • living on the West Coast.

What you can win

What you can win depends on your age:

  • 5 to 8 years – Conservation Dog Prize Package including a visit by a conservation dog and handler to the winner's school.
  • 9 to 12 years – Ranger for a Day Prize Package including spaces for 2 people on a Whio release
  • 13 to 18 years – Paparoa Track Prize Package including a voucher for family hut passes for the Paparoa Track.

Additional prizes will be provided for the runner-ups in each age category as well as spot prizes at the award ceremony.

Public interacts with conservation dog and handler
Image: Mithuna Sothieson | DOC

Whio release
Image: Sara O'Sullivan ©

How to enter

1. Create a story

Your story needs to include:

  • a memorable experience you had in New Zealand nature, and
  • what you want to do in the next 12 months to help New Zealand nature.

Your story can be:

  • a written story – maximum 500 words
  • a photo story – up to 10 images with explanations or captions
  • a video story – up to 2 minutes
  • an artwork with a brief written description, or
  • any combination of these.

2. Send your story to us

You can send in your stories by email or in person.

Make sure to send your story to us before 31 August 2019.

Details you need to include

You need to include:

  • your first and last name
  • your age
  • your school if you go to one
  • your contact details, phone number or email
  • a brief description of how much, if any adult help you received. Include the adults' name and how you know them.


If your story is too big to be sent by email you can:

  • upload it to YouTube, Google Docs, or DropBox and include the link to this in your email, or
  • bring in a copy to the Hokitika Office.

In person

You can bring in a copy of your story to the Hokitika Office.

10 Sewell Street 
Hokitika 7810

3. After you enter the competition

A panel of judges selected by DOC West Coast will judge all the stories. They will then choose a winner and runner-up for each age category. Their decision will be based on:

  • originality and creativity of the story
  • how well the story was told, and
  • how much an adult was involved.

The winners and runner-ups will be announced at a special event on 20 September.

Conservation Week 2019

Read more about Conservation Week 2019

Terms and conditions


  • The Promoter of the “Share your Nature Story” competition (the Competition) is the Department of Conservation, West Coast region (DOC West Coast).
  • DOC West Coast can be contacted in relation to the Competition by email at


  • The Competition is open to all school-aged children (5-18 years old) residing in the West Coast region of the South Island.
  • Entry is limited to one entry per person.
  • Entry is available until 31 August 2019 at 4:30pm.
  • Entries should be emailed to, or mailed or dropped to the Hokitika office at 10 Sewell Street, Hokitika 7810
  • Entries must include the following to be eligible:
    • Name of entrant (first and last name)
    • Age of entrant (at time of entry)
    • School (if applicable)
    • Contact details: phone number and/or email
    • Brief description of how much/what adult help was provided in creation of the entry (if any) and details of helper, including name and relationship to entrant.
    • A “Nature Story”. The story must include two things:
      1. A memorable experience the entrant has had in New Zealand nature
      2. Details of what the entrant (and others, if applicable) will do in the next 12 months to proactively help New Zealand nature
  • The “Nature Story” can be told in the following ways:
    • Written word (up to 500 words)
    • Video (up to 2 minutes). It is ok to have other people in your video, but the entry must be made under an individual name.
    • Images (up to 10 images) – with a brief written explanation or captions
    • Artwork (drawings, collages etc) – with a brief written explanation
    • Any combination of the above
  • DOC West Coast reserves the right to exclude any person from participating in the Competition on reasonable grounds.
  • DOC West Coast reserves the right to refuse to award Prize Packages to any entrant that DOC West Coast decides (at its sole discretion) has violated the Terms, gained unfair advantage in participating in the Competition or won using fraudulent means.
  • By entering the Competition, entrants grant DOC West Coast the right to display their entry to the public, in any manner.
  • By entering the Competition, entrants grant DOC West Coast exclusive permissions to use their names, characters, photographs, voices and likenesses in connection with the Competition and for future promotion and marketing purposes and waive any claims to royalty, right and remuneration for such use.

Prize packages

  • One main prize package will be awarded for the following ages groups:
    • 5-8 years = “Conservation Dog Prize Package” including a visit by dog
      and handler to the Winner’s school
    • 9-12 years = “Ranger for a Day Prize Package” including spaces for 2
      (1A+1C) on a Whio (blue duck) release
    • 13-18 years = “Paparoa Track Prize Package” including a voucher for
      family hut passes (2A + 2C) for the Paparoa Track
  • Additional prizes will be provided for Runner-Up in each age category.
  • The Prize Packages are not redeemable for cash.
  • The Prize Packages may be transferrable at the discretion of the Promotor.
  • If any Prize Package (or portion of a Prize Package) is not redeemed before a noted
    expiry date for that prize, it is considered forfeit.

Judging and notification

  • A panel of judges, selected by DOC West Coast, will judge the entries based on the
    judging criteria below to pick the Winners and Runners-up in each age group.
  • Winners and Runners-Up will be officially announced at a special event on 20th Sept.
    Winners, if not at the event, will be notified in writing via email or phoned. Where
    two such attempts to contact the Winner fail, the Judging Panel will choose another
  • The Judging panel’s decisions of the Winners and Runners-Up will be final and no
    correspondence will be entered into.
  • The judging criteria are as follows:
    a. Originality and creativity of entry
    b. How well the story was told
    c. Degree of adult involvement


  • The Promoters reserve the right to terminate or change the Competition or any or
    all the Prize Packages at any time without notice.
  • The Promotor reserves the right to amend, carry, extend or discontinue the
    Competition at any stage, for any reason.
  • To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Promotor will not be liable for any loss or
    damage whatsoever (including but not limited to direct or consequential loss) or for
    personal injury as a result of Competition entry or winning a Prize Package.


  • Entry into this Competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
    The competition and these Terms and Conditions are governed by New Zealand Law.
Back to top