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New Zealand Ethical Conservation

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New Zealand Ethical Conservation

Volunteer in locations all over New Zealand and assist to preserve, protect and restore the country's rich natural environment and unique native species.

Prices from $1,195

The islands that make up New Zealand combine to be one of Earth's most biodiverse regions. Sadly however, the country has one of the highest rates of species and habitat loss in the world. A 2008 survey by IUCN found New Zealand topped the list of 130 countries for the percentage of animal species threatened with extinction. Whilst considerable resources are expended in attempting to reverse these processes, with some significant successes, there remains a huge amount of work to be done if we are to prevent the loss of some of New Zealand’s iconic wildlife, habitats and natural wonders. There are a large variety of tasks you may undertake, including helping to conserve endangered wildlife, planting trees, surveying flora and fauna, participating in beach cleanups or clearing invasive species.  Each of the projects gives you the opportunity to gain hands on conservation experience whilst contributing to protecting and restoring New Zealand’s unique environmental heritage.

New Zealand is geographically comprised of two main landmasses – the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. This project is an excellent way to contribute to the conservation of this stunning and unique country.



  • Gain hands on conservation experience
  • Assist with vital wildlife and conservation work
  • Help to protect and promote NZ's unique biodiversity
  • Get up close to NZ native flora and fauna


  • Minimum age of 18 years


Location Various locations around New Zealand
Activities Tree Planting
Erosion Control
Seed Collection
Track Construction
Floral & faunal surveys
Habitat restoration
Endangered species protection
Weed control
Walking trail construction
Environmental monitoring
Transport Volunteers must make their way to the local office
Accommodation Varying from project to project; shared accommodation


Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


With one of the highest rates of species loss in the world, a large focus of this project is to stop this. Our partner organisation supports many community run and driven sanctuaries that aim to mitigate the affects of invasive and introduced species. This includes introduced predator control to help protect New Zealand's several unique bird species. Our partners also focus on the conservation, restoration, rehabilitation and management of land including land owned by the community in the form of parks and reserves.

A range of conservation strategies, plans and tools combine with the human-power of volunteers to improve and restore the functioning of ecosystems so that natural spaces can be enjoyed by animals and people alike. Similarly, protection of waterways and coasts is particularly important for New Zealanders as they have a special connection to these areas, which provide significant social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits for all New Zealanders.

Our in-country partners work on a huge variety of projects, and with offices all over New Zealand, are one of the largest conservation organisation in the country.



You're able to start your project in either Auckland (North Island), Wellington (North Island) or Punakaiki (South Island). Availability for your choice of location will need to be checked before we can confirm your choice. Although those cities may be your starting point, we cannot confirm exact locations of projects as priorities change frequently. Project locations are typically in national or state parks, publicly owned or managed land, farms, and coastal reserves. Work hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm and work activities can include the following:

  • Tree planting
  • Erosion control
  • Seed collection
  • Track construction
  • Floral & faunal surveys
  • Habitat restoration
  • Endangered species protection
  • Weed control
  • Fencing
  • Walking trail construction
  • Environmental monitoring

We do not offer volunteers a choice of projects, as these vary according to seasonal conditions and conservation priorities. We do our best to ensure a variety of projects or locations during each placement.


You'll to to arrive on a Friday at the Auckland, Wellington or Punakaiki office where you will receive and orientation and a briefing. The first weekend if usually free and allows you to explore the local area a little more, thought sometimes groups leave for project site out of town immediately. Flexibility is key!


During the project you will be provided with comfortable, clean shared accommodation that will vary from project to project, either hostel-style, shared house, caravan or camping. You will normally live close to where you are working (usually within walking distance) but occasionally you might take public transportation to sites further afield or travel will be arranged to your work site.


Your diet will be seasonal fare typical to New Zealand; three meals a day are provided and volunteers will share in cooking and washing up. Vegetarian options are available.

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Before or after your project why not stay in country a little longer and explore a range of adventure and cultural activities such as Franz Joseph Glacier, the location of Lord of the Rings - Mount Tongariro, Maori villages, skydiving and other adrenalin sports are available. Why not explore these using the flexible Kiwi Experience bus pass which allows you to hop-on and hop-off with fellow like-minded travellers! Just speak to our Volunteer Advisors or our in-country staff.

You may like to spend your free time relaxing and socialising with your fellow workers. Take time out to get to know some of this amazing country's wildlife. The diving and snorkelling can be absolutely spectacular and you may even see pods of dolphins, seals or perhaps orcas and whales if you spend time on the coast. However, if you fancy something more adventurous then there are plenty of adventure activities and water based sports to get involved in at reasonable prices. Other water sports available include water skiing, windsurfing, surfing, bodyboarding and more. Try a bungee jump for a full blown adrenaline rush, or mountain biking for a great way to take in the staggering landscapes. Venture into nearby towns with your new friends for a taste of the raucous nightlife - the bars and clubs are sure to be jam packed!


2 weeks $1,195

4 weeks $2,595

6 weeks $3,195

Extra week $595


Weekly, every Friday. Please report to the regional office for 11am on the Friday for your introductory briefing.


You can join this project for 2 weeks +


Before you go

  • Comprehensive pre-departure support
  • Travel advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Auckland (AKL), Wellington (WLG)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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