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Volunteers feeding tītī chicks at Boundary Stream (Photo by Natalie de Burgh)

Any volunteer opportunities with Predator Free Hawke's Bay will be posted here. Due to the nature of working on private land, field opportunities are rare. If you are keen to support the project please feel free to get in touch on our Contact Us page.

Check out Biodiversity Hawke's Bay who are committed to working together so that Hawke's Bay's biodiversity is enhanced, healthy and functioning and they need your help!

Or check out the Department of Conservation's volunteer opportunities in Hawke's Bay.

Check out our merchandise for another way to support us.

If you are interested in becoming involved in urban trapping, check out Predator Free Urban Hawke's Bay.


Volunteer opportunity at Cape Sanctuary's Kotahi Shore Plover aviary

shoreploverThe Cape Sanctuary are urgently needing volunteers, both short term and long term, to help out at the Kotahi Shore Plover aviary at the Sanctuary out at Ocean Beach. Classed as Nationally Critical, these awesome little birds are currently found only on a few predator-free islands in the Chatham Islands and around mainland New Zealand. It is one of the world’s rarest shorebirds. For more information on tūturuatu.

The aviary is a joint initiative between the Cape Sanctuary and DOC. In partnership with Kotahi, the country’s largest export supply chain collaboration, the Cape Sanctuary, a significant wildlife restoration programme at Cape Kidnappers and the Department of Conservation, opened the Kotahi Aviary to provide New Zealand’s third tūturuatu/shore plover captive breeding facility.

The East Coast Hawke’s Bay Conservation Board, Te Tairāwhiti ki Te Matau-a- Māui, recently visited the Kotahi Shore Plover/tūturuatu aviary and the Cape Sanctuary at Ocean Beach highlighted the plight of the tūturuatu and efforts to stop this species from becoming extinct. A media release from that trip is available.

Details of the job:
- Morning and/or afternoon feeds
- Observations
- Any other tasks required by the aviary manager (cleaning/weeding)

Each ‘shift’ is made up of the following
- Prepare the food
- Feed out
- Visual health checks of the birds using binoculars
- Observations post-feed (extra important now we have breeding on site to get sightings of any chicks that hatch)
- Clean up
Each shift can be completed in 1.5-2+ hours. Timing of feeds is flexible, but morning feed preference is to be out by 9.30 am in summer.

You need:
- Your own transport to the aviary
- Good standards of containment to prevent predators getting in/birds getting out
- Must be comfortable working on your own, unsupervised (manager can be reached by phone, reception is patchy on site)
- Your own wet-weather gear and gumboots (optional but recommended)
- Be confident in moving around space with small birds and possibly their chicks that are very camouflaged!

Training will be provided to those who can commit to helping regularly/be on call over summer
- We are looking for people on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays to cover staff weekend.

If you think you might enjoy helping with the tūturuatu please contact:

Rebecca Diederichsen
Aviary Manager
Shore Plover Captive Breeding Facility
193 Ocean Beach Road, HASTINGS
Mob:+64 27 650 1807


Volunteer opportunity with NZ sea lion subantarctic field positions with DOC

sea lions 1200The Department of Conservation’s Mountains to Sea team, as a part of fulfilling its commitments under the New Zealand sea lion Threat Management Plan, is seeking enthusiastic, fit and skilled team members to undertake fieldwork at the subantarctic islands this summer.

We are looking for two to three teams (approximately 11 people in total) to carry out the annual program of sea lion fieldwork (predominantly sea lion tagging and surveying) at the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island. Travel to the Auckland Islands is by boat and is approximately a 36-hour passage often by expedition yacht Evohe (Campbell Island is an additional 12-30 hours passage). The attached documents detail the required skill sets, competencies and training requirements for the positions.

In general, we are looking for people with high standards of health & safety, proven ability living in remote locations, excellent communication skills and experience getting on well with others in a small team in cold, wet, muddy conditions. Previous experience handling large animals is a plus, but a calm and confident demeanour is essential. A team leader with a high level of leadership and emotional intelligence will be appointed to lead operations on each island. As sea lions are a taonga species, all team members will be required to follow tikanga Māori when handling these animals.

Timeframe for trip: approximately early December 2020 to early March 2021*, although there may be an opportunity for a shorter commitment, depending on the applicant pool.

Note that this timeframe is approximate and may shift due to boat availability. The timeframe also includes time in Invercargill prior to departure, for organising and quarantining gear for biosecurity checks, and post-trip for gear cleaning, organising and inventorying.

All team members must also attend the training in Dunedin between the 7th and 11th of September 2020*.

The teams will be required to enter sea lion tagging and re-sight data into a spreadsheet while in the field, and to perform error-checks on the data upon returning from the trip. At least one team member from each location will be required to submit a brief report describing processes and initial conclusions. Team members will also participate in a debrief at the end of the trip.

The subantarctic islands are smoke-free, and smokers will not be recruited for these positions.

* Dates are still tentative and likely to change; flexibility is required

Expression of interest. To register your interest in a position, we require the following:
• CV – detailing the relevant skill sets (esp. small boat handling, shore transfers, wildlife handling, leadership), prior remote island experience and current training certificates (e.g. outdoor first aid, PHEC, wildlife veterinarian) and referees, including current manager
Questionnaire of relevant skills & experience
• Cover letter – maximum 1 page

Applications will not be accepted after 10 July 2020 at 5pm

Please send expressions of interest to Once shortlisting has been completed, individuals will be contacted for an interview, and referee checks will follow. We expect to contact all applicants within two weeks of the closing date.

NZSL experience questionnaire

NZSL subantarctic additional info

2020-21 NZSL field work teams - EOI ad


Volunteer opportunity as Chatham Islands volunteer field assistants with DOC

nogs folly chatham islands heroTrip 1 - Rangatira, 11 to 28 September 2020

  • Black robin banding, shore plover census
  • 3-4 positions
  • Skills: NZ Level 2 passerine banding certification (preferred), experience with colour-band reading (required)
  • Volunteers who can do Trip 1 and 2 will be given preference (11 September to 12 October)

Trip 2 - Mangere, 23 September to 12 October 2020

  • Forbes’ parakeet distance sampling, shore plover census
  • 2 positions
  • Skills: Distance sampling experience (preferred), general bird monitoring experience (required)
  • Volunteers who can do Trip 1 and 2 will be given preference (11 September to 12 October)

Trip 3 - Mangere (23 October to 6 November 2020)

  • Black robin census, Forbes' parakeet hybrid scoring
  • 2 positions
  • Skills: Experience with colour-band reading (required)

Trip 4 - Rangatira (23 October – 16 November 2020)

  • Black robin census; Chatham petrel burrow opening, shore plover work
  • 3 positions
  • Skills: Experience with colour-band reading (required)

Trip 5 – Rangatira and Mangere (18 January to 5 February 2021)

  • Shore plover banding and census; Chatham petrel roll call, threatened plant monitoring
  • 4 positions
  • Skills: NZ wader or seabird (small to medium) level 2 banding certification (preferred), general wader or seabird monitoring experience (required)
  • Only 1 or 2 of these positions will do the Mangere leg of the trip, others will remain on Rangatira

Trip 6 – Mangere (15 to 29 March 2021)

  • Black robin census and banding
  • 2 positions
  • Skills: NZ Level 2 passerine banding certification (preferred), experience with colour-band reading (required)

Trip 7 – Rangatira (15 March to 16 April 2021)

  • Black robin census and banding, Chatham petrel monitoring and banding
  • 4 positions
  • Skills: NZ Level 2 passerine banding certification (preferred), experience with colour-band reading (required)

See more information and how to apply


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