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Helping out in the Hunuas

Published: 16 June 2019

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National Volunteer Week 16-22 June

Throughout National Volunteer Week (16-22 June 2019), we're celebrating the contributions of volunteers across our region.

Immersed within lush native forest with the sounds of trickling streams and sweet bird song, you’ll find a group of hard-working volunteers helping to protect Auckland’s beautiful Hunua Ranges Regional Park.

Collectively, these volunteers give over 6000 hours each year to the park working across a range of tasks including pest control, biodiversity monitoring, tree plantings and track maintenance.

“Volunteers are an essential component of our regional parks,” says Miranda Bennett, Auckland Council’s southern regional parks senior ranger.  

"We rely on the goodwill and dedication of our park volunteers to achieve and deliver a number of projects that otherwise we would not have the capacity to complete."

Ruth Cordey is one of Hunua’s newest recruits having left her job in England to get stuck into conservation volunteering on the other side of the world.   

“Having heard about the issues in New Zealand with introduced predators causing so many deaths of native wildlife, I was keen to do something to assist. It also gave me the opportunity to get outside and experience some native bushland,” says Ruth.

“The majority of the volunteer work I do includes maintaining the bait stations, checking and resetting traps, clearing foliage and ensuring the bait lines are clearly marked. It’s a great way to get out in nature, meet like-minded people and contribute to conservation and the protection of threatened species.”

Keeping the health in check was one of the reasons that got Willem Aalderink to sign up as a Hunua Ranges volunteer in 2015.

“I started volunteering as it’s a great way to get fit, plus it combined my interest in the environment and supporting native wildlife,” he says.

“Currently, I’m doing some testing with different baits and modified traps to improve pest control methods and increase catch rates.

“It’s important to look after our parks as they are the lungs of our cities and provide excellent opportunities for people to enjoy nature and our diverse native wildlife. Parks support both our physical and mental health, and visiting a park is the perfect way to find relief from the stresses of day-to-day life.”

Keen to get involved?

Grab your gumboots, get into the fresh air and make a difference to our green spaces; there are plenty of volunteer opportunities across Auckland’s parks network.

If you’re keen to join the team down in our southern regional parks, new volunteers can email

National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week (16-22 June 2019), which is all about celebrating the contributions of volunteers who freely give their time, energy and skills to help make our communities great.

Visit for more information about National Volunteer Week.


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