Volunteer on Motutapu

It's F U N, You Can do it! Come on over! Join us for a volunteering day on the island.

We hold regular workdays where you can get involved in tree planting, weed control, nursery work and all sorts of other activities. Public volunteer days are held every alternate Sunday from January 8th throughout the year (except public holiday weekends) but do check our Volunteer Dates. This makes a great day out for groups, families, individuals either local or from overseas. You are all welcome !You get a day out of the city, enjoy fresh air and exercise, meet new people while doing something really worthwhile. Help us create a legacy for the future.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Motutapu Restoration Project. ALL our work is done by volunteers. Become a volunteer and enjoy a day on a beautiful island while creating a legacy for future generations.
Corporate groups are welcome on public volunteer days or midweek by arrangement.

Our main volunteer activities offer something for everyone:

Tree Planting - between May and August (requires a medium level of fitness)
Nursery Work - between September and April as well as the winter months (requires a low level of fitness)
Weed Busting - we control weeds throughout the year esp. summer (medium fitness required)
Beach Cleanups - any time of the year
Fencing, property repairs, grounds maintenance, wildlife monitoring and seed collection - any time of year
Click on the link for more information on our volunter activities!

Register today and be part of this exciting, large scale and long term conservation project !

Soon you will be able to register for your selected days online but for the moment we would love you to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and mention the day you would like to come over. Alternatively you can phone Bridget 09 524-5072 or Belinda 09 522-0919 or 0275 570 845. Once registered with us you go onto our contacts database

Our Project offers an opportunity to :

Be involved in an exciting , large scale, long term conservation project
Enjoy a day out of the city getting fresh air and exercise
Meet new and interesting people
Create a worthwhile legacy for future generations
Help save some of New Zealand's best loved endangered wildlife
Mitigate you carbon emissions
Be actively involved in conservation
Learn about propagating seeds, planting trees and weedbusting
Help us "breathe new life into this ancient landform"
But hey, don't just take our word for it :

Volunteering on Motutapu"Its a big task we've been set, but you can already see the benefits out there. Motutapu is so close to the city but it's like you are in a different world. It helps me see the bigger picture.."

Claire, 2009
"I cannot quite describe the satisfaction from my day spent volunteering. The exhilarating ferry ride over, the warm welcome to the island, the pleasure of digging in volcanic soil (as compared to sticky Auckland clay), lunch sitting looking at fabulous views chatting to some very interesting people, and then that nice tired feeling once home again. I particularly enjoyed the company of the other volunteers; it;s great to be doing something alongside people who vary in age from 7 to over 70!" Nando, 2009

"Thank you for the experience, for the learning and laughter and the opportunity to get to know such a wonderful place.." Anna 2008

We have a dedicated webpage on the Important Biosecurity requirements now in place across both Motutapu and Rangitoto, but seeing as we've got some space, it doesn' t hurt to mention it here as well. It is just so, so important that we read and comply with the following and understand the disastrous consequences of pests re-infiltrating our islands


It's really important that we keep Rangitoto and Motutapu free from pests. Please note the following rules are now in place in relation to travel to Rangitoto and Motutapu:

Packs, bags, containers
All bags and containers should be able to be sealed (see below for more info). Check for mice, insects, seeds & soil & remove if found. Once packed, keep bags closed, zipped up tight and remember to recheck them on the morning of departure.
(A mouse was found during a self bag check of a visitor to the Karori Sanctuary in Wellington recently. Karori Sanctuary is a mainland island with a predator fence around it. Mice compete for food with our native species and eat insects and lizards)

Check pockets for seeds and clean if required.

Check laces and seams for seeds. Check boot treads for soil or seeds and clean if required

Pack all food in sealed containers free from insects

Dogs and other animals are not allowed

Rodent and Insect Proof Containers - How can I tell if it's good enough?

Backpacks, daypacks. college bags and other material bags that can be sealed by a draw string or zipper are acceptable. Packs that are in poor condition are unacceptable.

Cardboard Boxes
Solid cardboard boxes with no holes and that are taped closed are acceptable although not ideal as they can fall aparat if they get wet or are damaged in transit. Banana boxes, boxes with holes or boxes that cannot be sealed are not suitable.

Plastic Bins
These are the ideal containers for transporting gear to the island as they are usually robust enough to withstand rough handling. Containers must have tight fittng lids and not be overpacked. Fish bins, chilly bins,and poly pails are all included in this category.

Plastic Bags
PVC dry bags are acceptable as are super thick plastic bags, in other words the plastic must be thicker than your average rubbish sack as these are prone to tearing. All bags must be securely sealed or tied before being taken on board the ferry. Open plastic bags, shopping bags and the like are not acceptable.

The damage that pests can do......

Ship rats can swim at least 500m and Norway rats up to 1km. They could easily swim from a moored boat to the island. Rats have significant impacts on native plants and animals, in particular native birds, lizards and insects. They also eat large quantities of native seeds both from the ground and trees (particularly ship rats which are good climbers). This has serious implications for our native plant regeneration.

Not known to invade islands by swimming, all recorded invasions have been through the transport of stores and equipment. Mice complete for food with our native species and eat insects and lizards.

Weed seeds easily attach themselves to shoes, laces, velcro, and tend to nestle in your pockets. Weeds threaten our native flora and cost DOC thousands of dollars each year and your restoration volunteers hundreds of manhours all year round on Motutapu.

Because of their sheer numbers, appetite and aggressiveness, Argentine ants can have a massive impact on the natural environment by eliminating other species of (native) ants, competing with native birds for food such as insects and worms, competing with native birds and lizards for nectar and displacing and killing native invertebrates.