Puketāpapa Local Board has partnered with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand to deliver a unique Migrant Conservation Programme.
“Our aim with supporting the Migrant Conservation Programme is to provide new migrants with opportunities to connect with long-standing residents and help our environment at the same time,” explains Julie Fairey, Chair of the Puketāpapa Local Board.
She says that newcomers and existing residents are able to volunteer alongside each other, forming friendships as they work to improve our local bush and coastal areas.
“Over half our community was born outside Aotearoa and this programme reminds us we are all New Zealanders,” says Puketāpapa Local Board Chair Julie Fairey.
The local board is committed to providing opportunities for people to learn, work and volunteer locally. This is one of the outcomes in its three-year plan for the area, along with creating inclusive communities that are healthy, connected and thriving.
“Through this programme, we focus on participation from our migrant communities. It helps people build connections, gain experience by getting involved in local conservation events and meet locals and also learn more about the local culture,” says Coordinator Zoe Qu.
“It gives a boost to people’s well-being when they feel included and welcomed by their communities in this way.”
Now in its second year, the programme has organised 30 environmental conservation events and worked with other local organisations such as Kāhui Tū Kaha. Over 200 volunteers have benefitted from the programme.
"As a new immigrant, I didn't make too many local friends in the first a few years since I moved to New Zealand. However, since I knew CVNZ, I attended its activities quite often, I met lots of amazing people there and got involved more with the local community. through these activities," says volunteer Yadi Chen.
"I think it is a meaningful volunteer job. I have planted nearly 500 trees this year and it's more than what I expect. I will absolutely continue this activity next year.”