Love Volunteers

Environmental Conservation Helper

Punakaiki, New Zealand show on map
Work in a team of up to 10 internationals to preserve the environment. Assist the local staff with planting, weeding or all kind of activities. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

The program

This amazing, collaborative conservation program is a long term project with various government, businesses, community organizations, universities and volunteers to pool resources to deliver significant environmental and community benefits in the Punakaiki area. A significant part of the program is restoring ex mining land into a nature reserve, creating an ecological corridor that spans from the mountains to sea, reflecting the rich biodiversity of the area that includes the only nesting ground of the vulnerable Westland Petrel, the natural habitat of the Blue Penguin and the sand plain forests bearing Nikau Palms and Rata trees many hundreds of years old. Volunteers will work on restoring biodiversity of the area, support species protection, help to strengthen community networks, and provide enhanced conservation land for the benefit of future generations. From working with the most threatened species, to assisting in environmental restoration, volunteers make a huge difference on this program.

Goals of this Project:

  • Help to protect the Blue Penguin and Westland Petrel
  • Create a nature reserve from ex mining land and restore native forest
  • Enhance and protect wetland ecology
  • Enable inter-cultural exchange between all parties and teach international visitors more about environmental practices and New Zealand
How you can help

Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goal of this program - to create an ecological corridor that spans from the mountains to sea, restoring ex mining land to create an amazing nature reserve.  Volunteers work to conserve, restore, rehabilitate and manage land using conservation tools and people power to improve conservation land and to provide access for people to enjoy and appreciate nature. Like many conservation programs, a willing volunteer labor force is essential to the success of the program. Volunteers will assist program staff with tasks that are essential to conservation projects such as planting, weeding, removing invasive pest plants, seed collection, plant propagation at the on-site nursery (where all native plants for the project are grown) and creating walking tracks. Working in a team of up to 10 other international volunteers, teams work alongside local communities, environmental groups, universities and conservation experts on well-planned and managed, safe, valid and essential projects. Full training is given by project team leaders. Volunteers gain a wonderful opportunity to learn about conservation issues and learn practical conservation skills and can earn references and certificates.

Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and on any number of environmental or wildlife projects and can expect to undertake the following tasks:

  • Plant propagation
  • Tree planting
  • Walking trail construction
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Seed collection
  • Weed control
  • Heritage restoration

Typical day

A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:

7:30am Breakfast at the accommodation

8:00am Walk or bus to the project site

8:30am Pre-start meeting with the project supervisor

9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START

Lunch is taken at the project site.

3:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END

3:10pm Debrief with the project supervisor

3:30pm Walk or bus back to accommodation

Afternoons and evenings are free to relax, keep in touch with friends and family (please note that wifi may not be available at the project location) and explore the local area.

6:30pm Dinner.

Volunteers help to prepare the evening meal.

Details on Arrival

This project is available year-round and programs start every FRIDAY. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

Free-time activities

This program takes place in the South Island of New Zealand, famous for its stunning landscapes, impressive topography and crystal clear Pacific Ocean waters. Volunteers work on projects in remote areas - truly in touch with nature and New Zealand at its best.
Swimming
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
Emergency Contact and Resume
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 15:30

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Love Volunteers cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Love Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Love Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Love Volunteers
  • Airport pick-up on arrival
  • Orientation & full safety briefing
  • Accommodation
  • Food & Meals
  • 24/7 local support network
  • Project placement & onsite supervision
  • LV Registration Fee included
Airport Pickup at Christchurch International Airport

Volunteers arrive into Christchurch airport and are booked on the 2:15pm West Coast Shuttle to Greymouth where they are met by local team. 

The local team will provide an orientation lasting around one hour using a visual presentation (DVD), with additional information provided by a presenter. Volunteers are also required to complete a Volunteer Registration Form at this point, including our local teams Conditions of Participation.

The first weekend is free time for volunteers, though some travel may occasionally be required on Sunday if you are going to a very remote project location. Volunteers will be advised when their Team Leader will pick them up for the first project – usually 8am on Monday morning (times may vary slightly by season).

Additional inductions take place on every project site, carried out by the onsite Team Leader, before the volunteers begin each activity. These cover the conservation aims of the specific project, how it will be carried out, including any instruction or training required for the volunteers, essential safety information, the facilities on-site and nearby.

  • Arrival Day: FRIDAY PRIOR TO 2PM
  • Departure Day: FRIDAY
  • Arrival Airport: Christchurch International Airport, Christchurch, New Zealand (code: CHC)

Accommodation

This program offers a range of accommodation options dependent on the project location. Volunteers may be hosted in a volunteer house, caravan, hostel, bunkhouse or camp site (tents are provided). A great way to experience the great outdoors!

Accommodation is shared and volunteers should bring their own sleeping bag and small pillow. The program fee covers accommodation from the Friday of arrival until the Thursday preceding the final day volunteering. Volunteers should fly out Friday evening or arrange their own accommodation that night.

All the usual amenities are available in each location including western-style bathrooms, laundry facilities (either on-site or nearby), kitchen, communal areas for relaxing and hot showers. Wi-Fi may not always be available in remote locations.

Dorm Room Bungalow Youth Hostel Camping
Food & Beverages
Three meals per day are included in the program fee. Breakfasts will typically be self-serve cereals, bread or toast and condiments. Lunch is prepared by volunteers with ingredients provided and is likely to be sandwiches and fruit. Volunteers are also involved in preparing dinner which may include pasta, roasts and vegetarian dishes. Fresh, local cuisine after a hard day’s work – nothing tastes better!
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Christchurch International Airport (CHC) in Christchurch. We assist you to find cheap flights to New Zealand.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for New Zealand provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in New Zealand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for New Zealand.
Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 734
2 weeks
$ 1,113
3 weeks
$ 1,493
4 weeks
$ 1,872
6 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,631
Average fees
$ 586 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Punakaiki/New Zealand between 1 week and 6 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Love Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in New Zealand.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Love Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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