Department of Conservation Volunteer Contributions
Get involved in activities around the country, and find out about volunteering for conservation.
There are hundreds of conservation groups working with DOC, or working independently around the country – from restoring forests, coasts and wildlife to managing huts, tracks and historic places. The Department of Conservation is a premier resource for all visitors enjoying New Zealand outdoors. There are ways to support the conservation movement in New Zealand. The information below is part of the online fact list provided to potential volunteers.
Many of these groups have large-scale restoration and biodiversity recovery as their aims, while others focus on a particular endangered species.
Nature Space (external site) is also a great way to find groups, individuals and landowners undertaking ecological restoration in New Zealand.
Can’t participate but still want to help?
Make a donation to a conservation programme.
Other ways you can get involved:
- run your own project.
- volunteer for a DOC project,
- assist DOC partnerships on endangered species management and other conservation projects.
Finding a suitable activity
When considering our volunteer activities, take into account the skills or fitness level required, your availability, the work conditions, and personal commitments that may impact your choice.
Search volunteer activities
Our activities vary depending on the location and nature of the work, so make sure you have read the description and know what to expect. There are several things you need to consider before submitting an application.
Skills and experience required
Generally our volunteer activities do not ask for specialist skills or experience. We suggest that you consider your level of fitness for the tasks required, and that you be flexible enough to enjoy the challenges presented by New Zealand’s fickle weather conditions.
Refer to the activities description to check whether any specific skills or experience are required. Some may provide full training at the outset.
If an activity requires you to use particular tools and equipment, you will be briefed about how to do so safely before you start. There will be a DOC staff member or nominated person on hand to keep you and fellow participants safe while you work.
Depending on the work you’ll be doing, such as at a hut, camp or other locations around children, we may conduct a safety check before you start. This is to comply with New Zealand law and will include police vetting. We’ll advise you on what you’ll need to do if you’re selected.
If you’re volunteering for DOC at multiple sites that require police vetting, we will only need to do this once. Or, if you’ve been checked by another New Zealand agency within the last 12 months, you might not need to be vetted again during this time.
If you have specific skills and qualifications, let us know as there may be activities where your specialist skills could be used.
Fitness and health
Our volunteer activities are held mainly outdoors and require a moderate level of fitness to get the most out of the opportunity.
There are a range of opportunities, so look for something to suit your own level of fitness. If high levels of fitness are required, this will be highlighted in the activity description.
We ask all prospective volunteers to declare any medical condition, allergies, disabilities or existing injuries that may affect participation. DOC staff will discuss these with you in a confidential manner. If you have concerns about your fitness level and ability to undertake the task, discuss them with the volunteer coordinator.
Generally we don’t have an age limit for volunteering with DOC, although there may be exceptions with some activities (for safety reasons). Children under 14 years of age will require parental or other appropriate adult supervision.
Length of activities
There are a range of different activities to meet your availability – some requiring a day, a week or a longer period of time. The description on the volunteer listing will include details of the time duration required of volunteers.
There is generally no charge to participate in our volunteer activities. Some projects however may request a contribution to transport, food or other costs. See the activity description for details.
Check the online resource for additional facts and information preparing to be a volunteer.
PACIFIC JANE, as part of our sustainability ethos and support for the Department of Conservation will continue to make regular contributions to the conservation programmes of New Zealand.