Volunteering projects in New Zealand


This program is located in one of the most picturesque cities in the world. You will join a small team of volunteers working to preserve, monitor, and re-establish our natural environment here in the Wellington region and beyond.

Our Aim

The aims of our New Zealand programs are twofold; first we provide much needed volunteer assistance to conservation groups and conservation projects within New Zealand. In return we offer our volunteers a unique and diverse experience that will expose them to many aspects of NZ conservation; this in turn will hopefully give our volunteers a greater understanding of conservation as a whole as well as offer them the opportunity to develop their own environmental interests and help to raise a global awareness.

Program Location

New Zealand\’s capital city, Wellington, is perched on the shores of a deep natural harbour surrounded by wooded hills. The Wellington region encompasses diverse landforms, indigenous plants and wildlife, and an extensive and varied coastline. Wellington is a centre for threatened species management and has a number of captive breeding facilities working with some of our most rare bird, reptile, and insect species.

The Programs

New Zealand Nature Program

Volunteers form an integral part of our habitat restoration and environmental/conservation projects. The volunteer team is headquartered near to Wellington and our program area is based largely in the Greater Wellington region. Two of our projects, however, provide the opportunities to work in other regions of New Zealand. The work that you will be involved with is typically a combination of direct habitat restoration (eg. predator control, tree planting, invasive weed removal), and monitoring progress (e.g. revegetation growth rates, native species data collection).

Examples of projects we are currently involved with include:

  • Revegetation and planting several native ecosystems (e.g. forests, wetlands, and dunes)
  • Controlling introduced predators for the protection of native wildlife
  • Surveying New Zealand fur seal populations at a lower North Island rookery
  • Removing invasive plants from several native ecosystems (e.g. forests, wetlands, dunes)
  • Stream quality monitoring as part of a regional stream health project (quarterly)
  • Educational field trips (e.g. Kapiti Island/Matiu-Somes Island, key offshore sanctuaries for New Zealand wildlife; weather permitting)
  • Trail construction and park maintenance within wildlife reserves
  • Coastal cleanups as part of an ongoing effort to protect Wellington\’s marine wildlife (e.g. little blue penguins, NZ fur seals)
  • Visits to Moehau, on the Coromandel Peninsula (quarterly), with activities including Kiwi bird protection, habitat protection and restoration, and scientific monitoring of wildlife and of predator control progress.

Please note that some projects are seasonal.


Program Requirements

As a volunteer on the New Zealand Nature Project you must:

  • be 18 years old or over
  • be eligible for entry into New Zealand as a tourist for the duration of your stay. Please note: people from many countries (including North America, UK, Europe) do not need an entry visa if you are staying for 3 months or less. For a list of all countries, see here
  • have no major health problems
  • be moderately fit (e.g. can hike for several hours over uneven/steep ground)
  • be proficient in English
  • possess initiative and an enthusiasm for the environment
  • be prepared to work in varying weather conditions
  • be prepared to live and work tolerantly with a team of diverse volunteers

If you are interested in joining this project and would like further information, please click here

To view other Global Volunteer Network projects, please visit their website http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/