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Volunteers transforming Wellington's Natural Environment

Volunteers transforming Wellington's Natural Environment

Volunteers weeding at ZEALANDIA

ZEALANDIA is one of the largest volunteer-supported conservation organisations in New Zealand with over 300 volunteers actively working at the conservation project.

“Our volunteers contribute 30,000 hours of their time each year. Their ongoing dedication helps to preserve the natural heritage that makes Wellington such an excellent place to live.” explains ZEALANDIA Chief Executive, Hilary Beaton.

Edith Hodgin is an active volunteer since joining in 1998. She comes in once a week to provide supplementary food to the kākā that have become an iconic species throughout the Wellington region. As a retired statistician, Edith says volunteering is “a nice way to keep busy during retirement. I am proud to be part of something that gives back.”

Another volunteer who literally goes above and beyond is John Falkner. He monitors the steepest part of ZEALANDIA’s mammal exclusion fence, checking for fallen trees and faults.

John has faithfully walked this section of fence every week for nine years and has climbed the equivalent of Aoraki Mount Cook from sea level over 21 times. He has “been up there come snow, sun, rain or hail” but says it’s worth it to see tūī in his backyard.

“Before the sanctuary was established, I used to walk around it quite a bit. When the fence went up I was skeptical but the number of birds have really taken off. We live at the other end of Karori and we see tūī all the time – we would only see one a year before ZEALANDIA.”

ZEALANDIA acknowledges its volunteers wherever possible and has made the most of National Volunteer Week to thank people - like John and Edith – who are transforming Wellington’s natural environment.


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