Department of Conservation - Wakatipu Office

Environmental Improvement - Department of Conservation Volunteer


Organisation Summary:


Our vision is:

New Zealand is the greatest living space on Earth
Kāore he wāhi i tua atu i a Aotearoa, hei wahi noho i te ao


By "living space" we’re talking about our physical environment and the people, plants and animals that it supports.  By "greatest" we mean New Zealand being the best it can be—a country that prospers socially, economically and environmentally.


Our vision is bigger than DOC and bigger even than conservation. We want it to be a stretch and to be something everyone wants to sign up to, so we can all work together to achieve it.


The Department of Conservation is the government department tasked with conserving New Zealand's natural and historical heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future. DOC manages Crown land that include National Parks, reserves and conservation areas. DOC has two main branches: SERVICES who carry out biodiversity and recreation work, and PARTNERSHIPS who work with business, community and iwi.


We’re doing our part to make New Zealand the greatest living space on Earth by looking after our environment so all of us can enjoy it and get the benefits from it that we need for our health and well-being and our wealth. This includes things like: clean air to breathe; fresh water to drink and to run our industries; healthy soils to grow our food; places where we can find adventure and solitude, and much more.


The services we provide (e.g. clean water, open spaces etc.) are used by various sections of the community.




Volunteer roles with DOC Wakatipu vary; we are seeking both long-term volunteers and those interested in one-off opportunities and at this stage are collating details of those interested in getting involved. Roles will include a mixture of physical work such as planting or bat surveying to more administrative roles.


DOC Wakatipu are currently establishing where volunteers can get involved and by signing up you are expressing your interest rather than committing to a specific task.  Accordingly, we do not anticipate there to be opportunities working directly with DOC to become available within a short timeframe.  If you are wanting to do conservation work in the near future then we suggest you contact some of the following like-minded organisations who do amazing work locally.


  • Kiwi Birdlife Park - a wildlife park based in Queenstown with a range of native animals and restoration plantings .  For further information please check out the role description here.


  • Lindis Pass Conservation Group A group undertaking, weed control and restoration initiatives adjoining the Lindis Pass State Highway near Tarras.  Monthly working bees during warmer months with car-pooling transport often available from Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra.  Contact or check out the role description here


  • Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust- an initiative working throughout Otago to develop, represent and promote the historical sites, trails and events of Otago. For more information check out the role description here.


  • Project Gold – planting and maintenance of kowhai and other native plants in selected areas.  Refer to Wakatipu Reforestation Trust for details.


  • Wakatipu Reforestation Trust  - undertake native plant propagation and community planting in Queenstown and the Wakatipu basin.  For more information check out the role description here.


  • Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Group – undertake control of wilding pine trees in various locations throughout the Wakatipu basin.  They also have an “Adopt A Plot” scheme you could be responsible for hand clearing your allocated plot of seedlings.  Check out their website here:


Time Commitment:


Varies according to the role.  Most of these groups have opportunities ranging from 1 day to ongoing over many months.  Please get in contact to find out more.

Located in Queenstown and the wider Wakatipu.


Skills Required:


Most roles will require volunteers to be aged 18+ and to have an interest in conservation issues. The ability to be active outdoors and to have some practical outdoor skills will be useful but further details will be provided for specific tasks.  There may be some tasks that are suitable for younger people who are accompanied by a guardian.


Skills Gained:


Satisfaction from contributing to a better environment and being part of a great team of nationwide volunteers. Practical outdoor skills and knowledge of conservation issues can be developed. There is the opportunity to gain skills and experience in track maintenance and monitoring, bird and plant identification, revegetation initiaives and pest control depending on the role undertaken.  Relevant free online courses are available here.  Most people enjoy sharing a love of the outdoors with like-minded people and get a real feeling of playing their part to make a difference.




Schedule Summary

This activity generally occurs on

  • Monday - All Day
  • Tuesday - All Day
  • Wednesday - All Day
  • Thursday - All Day
  • Friday - All Day
  • Saturday - All Day
  • Sunday - All Day