Volunteers planting


Take a moment to act for nature and volunteer.

Why volunteer?

Our native species are in trouble and need us to act

New Zealand’s native species are in serious trouble – over 4,000 species are threatened or at risk of extinction. This includes unique and iconic New Zealand wildlife like kiwi, kākāpō, takahē, yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho, Hector’s dolphins and bats/pekapeka.

But what we do makes a difference. We’ve proven in many parts of the country that we can reverse this decline. When we manage threats and restore habitats, nature comes back.

Each of us can help nature. If we all play a part, the difference will be even greater. There are volunteering opportunities around the country. These projects are restoring nature and bringing back native species.

Volunteering for nature is not always tree planting

You can take action for nature in a lot of different ways. Common ways to contribute include giving your time to volunteering to plant trees, pull weeds and trap predators.

You do not need to be fit or enjoy working outside to get involved. Community groups often need volunteers to help with many other tasks. Like event organisation, grant writing, social media and project planning.

And volunteering is good for volunteers too

Taking action benefits nature. But it also benefits our own wellbeing too. It can boost your mood, offer enjoyment and satisfaction, and help us to connect with our communities.

Many volunteers enjoy the social aspect of volunteering – you can join with a group of friends or going along by yourself and meet new people.

Volunteering can also be a useful source of work experience. It can be a chance to learn, upskill, gain some practical skills, and develop your leadership abilities.

Volunteer with DOC

There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities with DOC around the country. These vary depending on the time of year, but they include things like:

  • planting trees
  • being a campsite host or hut warden for a few weeks during summer
  • maintaining tracks
  • repairing/maintaining historic sites
  • teaching visitors about local wildlife
  • responding to callouts from the public about distressed seals

Browse DOC’s volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer with your community

There are hundreds of conservation groups around the country. They do vital work, from restoring forests, coastlines and wildlife to managing huts, tracks and historic places.

Many of these groups have large-scale restoration and biodiversity recovery as their aims, while others focus on a particular endangered species.

Find community groups in your region.

Volunteer online

There are several ways you can volunteer online. You can support citizen science, or take action in other ways:

Be a conservation influencer

Use your social media channels to support nature content. You can highlight stories or work other people are doing that inspires you. Or even present some of your own.

Another way you can be an influencer for nature is by helping your local conservation community group. Many groups need help to profile their work online and to set up or manage their website or social media profiles. They are also often in need of help with on and offline promotions.

These groups may also need help with other tasks, such as applying for funding and administration. There are lots of ways to help.

Have your say for nature

Other ways to volunteer your time is to submit feedback on conservation issues locally and nationally.

Get involved by having your say on issues DOC is consulting on. You can also engage with decision-making and campaign for intergenerational climate justice with Generation Zero. 

You can support global conservation issues online in many ways too. You can check out websites like The Nature Conservancy to find out ways to get started.

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