The amount of time New Zealanders spend volunteering for conservation work is exceeding expectations, with thousands of people wanting to make a difference, says Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson.
“Over the past eight months the Department of Conservation estimated individual volunteers contributed 23,241 workday equivalents when engaging in a vast number of DOC projects around the country.
“That’s about 5000 more workdays than DOC had anticipated, which is fantastic,” Ms Wilkinson says.
"DOC also works with over 550 community organisations and their members, who are contributing thousands more hours to conservation projects.
“Volunteers make a huge difference on the ground and DOC has responded to this enthusiasm by opening up more opportunities for people to get involved in local projects.
“Examples of new projects that invited volunteer support included the Otanewainuku Kokako transfer in Tauranga and the Whangarei shorebird programme.
“In Nelson, Environment Minister Nick Smith helped organise a beach clean-up in his electorate that saw 1000 people turn-up to remove 10 tonnes of rubbish along 291km of coastline.
“We have an amazing country and the volunteers who get stuck in to preserve our conservation estate and protect our native wildlife are hugely appreciated.
“It is rewarding work and DOC will continue to provide as many opportunities to anyone who is interested.”