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Volunteer for the Whitebait Connection

VolunteerWhitebait Connection runs a series of community events such as planting days, stream awareness days, spotlighting trips, and school field trips.  We also operate a community nursery, He Kakano, in Whangarei which supplies the majority of native plants for restoration planting throughout the Whangarei district.  There are many opportunities for you to volunteer and give back to your communuty, build on your skill set, socialise, and network.

If you are interested in volunteering please register here:

Or for the rest of the country email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will try and connect you with the appropriate contact.

Volunteer Testimonials

"My name is Frances, I am new to Whangarei and work from home so I wanted to volunteer for a few hours a week to get myself out of the house and meet new people. I decided to join the volunteers at the Whitebait connection plant nursery as this fitted with my passion for the environment, and fitted with my schedule. I really enjoy my time at the nursery, it is an awesome way to spend every Friday. Jordie who runs the volunteers and the nursery is very accommodating and patient with everyone, as many people arrive with no previous knowledge of plant propagation. We tend to work together as a team on one task and casually chat which is a nice way to get to know each other. Or if someone wants a solitary task Jordi will find something for for them to do. We are a diverse group of volunteers very capably organised by Jordie. The plant nursery is also very well run and it is great to see the turnover of plants, which ultimately means that more habitat is being restored by the wider Whitebait connection group." Frances, Northland

"Kia ora! My name is Hans, and I have been a volunteer with WBC since April 2019. I am currently studying my Masters in Environmental Engineering, and wanted to do volunteering not only as a way of giving back, but also because I love nature and really enjoy being outdoors. I reached out to WBC and they were very accommodating to have me come along in some of the activities, giving me responsibility early on to handle some the activities. These gave me fantastic opportunity to do field work that complemented my studies and learn things I wouldn't be able to in lectures. Therefore, if you have an interest in the water and environmental space, I would highly recommend volunteering with WBC." Hans, Auckland

"In Term 3 this year I accompanied Ella on two occasions as she took primary classes on their stream fieldwork. The classes were from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Mangere, and Nga Iwi Primary, both within walking distance of a local waterway. Ella had visited each class beforehand to discuss with them what they would do at the stream, and why, so in the field we could concentrate on data collection.

The students were actively engaged from the start, with three sub-groups quickly selected by teaching staff and taken a) on a stream survey walk; b) macroinvertebrate netting and ID; 3) measuring physical & chemical parameters. Ella has quiet authority, gives instructions clearly, in a friendly manner, and encourages children to express their ideas, while keeping them to schedule. Lifting of the fish nets was the final activity, when all three groups were together. Throughout the stream visit there was a feeling of purpose and excitement at being part of original science in a natural setting where outcomes are unpredictable. All were busy, cheerful and engaged. One special needs student was there with an adult, and took part to the extent of her capabilities." Juliette, Auckland

 "I‘m Annika and I‘m from Germany. My sister and I travelled through New Zealand for 3 months, where we spent three weeks volunteering with Whitebait Connection. Growing up, the protection of the environment has always been an important part of my life. When I decided to go abroad, WBC offered me an internship for three weeks. Kim, Nic, Tracey and Patricia gave me the opportunity to assist in their programme delivery. They offered me a wide range of experiences during my stay in Northland. By meeting different people of all ages and getting to know their country through working with them, I gained new experiences regarding interdependence, sustainability and biodiversity. I assisted with class sessions, I helped with weed release around last years riparian planting and I assisted with kayak surveys. I had the opportunity to join the crew on an overnight trip to a marae. I always felt very welcome there and everybody was really passionate in sharing their knowledge and experiences. We also went on several field trips with different schools and children of all ages. The passion of the crew from Whitebait Connection inspired me and it was great to see how they showed students to be responsible for their actions. Together with the students and teachers I experienced that even small efforts can make a difference. Furthermore, I learned to take on responsibility not only for myself and my actions but for other people as well.The experiences of practical environmental education as well as the insights into scientific research were an amazing opportunity for me to gain a new perspective on work abroad. It will help me with my decision on what to do in the future.Thank you so much for your efforts! I loved working with you all." Annika, Germany (spent time with the Northland team)

 "I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Whitebait Connection and Experiencing Marine Reserves in Northland, and I must say, it was an incredible experience! The hosts, Nic, Tracey, Pat, and Samara, were very welcoming and knowledgeable. With the Whitebait Connection I learned about the five species of galaxiida and their habitat, including their spawning sites and with the EMR team I was fortunate to investigate marine ecology. But that's not all - I also learned about healthy awa (waterways) and how to test and check if they are healthy. The hosts were passionate about preserving and protecting our waterways, and it was inspiring to see their dedication first-hand. Overall, I would highly recommend the Whitebait Connection and EMR to anyone interested in learning about New Zealand's aquatic life and their habitat. The program is suitable for both adults and children, and the hands-on approach makes the learning experience even more engaging. My visit was truly memorable, and I can't wait to come back for more.Thank you, Nic, Tracey, Pat, and Samara, for a wonderful experience at The Whitebait Connection!" Mary Wise, Poukawa School Participant Teacher – The Royal Society Te Apārangi