Working in the Kiwi Reserve on Coromandel – Backpacking Tips

Volunteering on Coromandel, protecting Kiwis as a conservation project

In New Zealand, it is normal for volunteers to work on conservation projects. That's why we talked to Katharina. She is working on a conservation project on the Coromandel Peninsula, which is committed to protecting the kiwis and their populations. She talks a bit about how she got to this job and who it might be interesting for.


rain forest and nature

Photo by Paulius Dragunas at Unsplash


Who is volunteering the right thing for

You are interested in volunteering, but you are not sure if this is right for you? Volunteer work in New Zealand is available in many different variations. Whether in a private organization or the New Zealand Conservation Authority the DOC, all are happy about help from visitors. The goals of these, mostly non-profit organizations, are manifold. Some protect the wildlife, others help reforest or look for imported grasses. In the wildlife sector, traps are often used to place, control and, if necessary, replace by volunteers. Often you are out in these areas and you get the whim of the weather. But you can forget all that, when you experience things that most New Zealand visitors will never experience.


Story of Katharina about her work on Coromandel

Hello, my name is Katharina and I work for the Moehau Environment Group (here we work with a mix of full-time employees and volunteers on the Northern Part of the Coromandel Peninsula.) After traveling to New Zealand from Germany, I have a Work Visa and started volunteering in the project, as most of the volunteers do today. After I had a lot of fun, I have applied for a longer-term work visa and fortunately gotten one. Meanwhile, I have been working here for some years now and also live on Coromandel The project itself has been in existence since 2000 and now has over 100 members, mostly consisting of natives, landowners and some who enjoy reviving nature, working closely with the DOC (Department of Conservation) and local schools and communities of the Maori together.


Kea in the forest

Photo by Tomas Sobek on Unsplash


What we do

We are working to improve biodiversity in cooperation with the local population. Our first project was focused on reducing the possums between Waikawau Bay, Parakete and Split Rock. Since then, we have broadened our horizons and are now working on over 13,000 hectares, mostly private land. This has allowed us to bring some endangered species such as the kiwi and the kaka back into better situations. In addition, we regularly offer a program to give students and volunteers the opportunity to work on our project. We distribute traps and check them once a month to keep predators away from the kiwi. This makes us part of one of the largest kiwi areas on the New Zealand mainland.


How can I participate as a volunteer

We are always happy about volunteers who want to work with us for at least a week or longer. Since we do a lot of projects in the wild, it is helpful if you like to stay outside in the nature. No matter how fit you are we'll find something suitable that you can do. If you have your own car this is very helpful, unfortunately we are in Coromandel rather far away from everything and it cannot always be guaranteed for carpooling. In the normal case, we offer for assistance food and accommodation, this is just possible if we have space in our accommodation. After consultation with a bit in advance this is normally not a problem. If you have individual ideas how you can help, you can do this. The normal duties of a volunteer are as follows:

  • Pest control (traps and baits)
  • Create routes and wait
  • Observing and counting bird populations
  • Build and distribute traps
  • Elimination of harmful weeds
  • Plant trees and other native plants

Other activities can be:

  • Collect donations and recruit sponsors
  • process financing requests
  • Accounting
  • Public Relations and Marketing
  • Renew and update our website and newsletter
  • Holiday Guide
  • Group Coordination

Depending on experience, duration of work and level of fitness, we will definitely find something for you. If you want to find out more about and from our previous volunteers, check out our website.


Costs for volunteering

There is a small weekly fee of 350 New Zealand dollars per week. Depending on the length of stay, the fee may vary. In addition, there is a fee of 200 NZD per week to pay for transport costs, if you should not have your own transport. The fee has to be paid in full before the start of the stay. You are welcome to discuss all questions and fees personally with us.


I don’t want to volunteer, how can I support you?

In addition to volunteering, we depend on donations. If you would like to support our work with money, then you can also donate something on our website. Just follow the link to our donations website.


Questions, comments or suggestions

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions then we look forward to your comment here under this article. All questions will be forwarded to the MEG and then answered by them, if we cannot answer them ourselves. We are pleased about each of the part of his New Zealand stay by meaningful volunteer work supplements.


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A big thank you from the depth of our hearts. Julian & the team of Project-Newzealand

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