Volunteer Programme

Campbell offers a number of volunteer project placements for students wanting work experience in local communities or for those who have a love of nature and the outdoors.

Ecological / Animal
Students can enter up to three individual projects in a variety of locations around New Zealand for a maximum of 20 weeks after they have completed their studies at The Campbell Institute. These include conservation and animal care projects.

Social / Community
Students who want to volunteer on social and community-based projects will attend their project each day after class at The Campbell Institute. Students may participate in up to three social projects.

An intermediate level of English is required to enrol in the Volunteer Programme as communication is essential when working with project managers. A Campbell level test will be required when applying.

Ecological / Animal

Blue Duck Station        

Located in the Ruapehu District National Park, Blue Duck Station is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. This project aims to conserve endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers while preserving the history of the Blue Duck Station.

Varies. Ranges from cleaning and working in the café to conservation, gardening and farming!

Availability: Apr to Oct

Accommodation: shared bedroom           

Food Provided: Yes           

Website: www.blueduckstation.co.nz

Contact:  volunteer@campbell.ac.nz

Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary

Nestled on the slopes of the second highest peak in Northland, New Zealand, Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary consists of 100 hectares of regenerating native forest. Views of the ocean, an unexplored forest, and the song of native birds are just the first in the many experiences to be had.

Conservation tasks include marking and clearing paths in the forest, installing and filling bait stations, identifying and recording plant and bird species.

Other areas of work include: helping with cooking, washing dishes, planting vegetation around the camp, painting, cleaning the facilities, building fences, and other general help.

Placement: November to April

Accommodation: Shared bedroom           

Food Provided: Yes           

Website: www.pupurangi.com


Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Being one of New Zealand’s most significant nature reserves, situated 5 km off the west coast of the North Island and close to Wellington, Kapiti Island is home to a number of native bird and animal species that are rare or endangered on the main islands of New Zealand.

Tasks could involve maintenance of tracks, signage, walkways on the publically accessible areas of the nature reserve. Preparing and updating visitor information for daily guest/visitor arrivals at Island and interacting and assisting them. Assisting with bird survey work (Kiwi & Royal Spoonbill). Track and beach landing clearing, tidying and grass cutting and weeding and firewood collection.

Placement: October- May

Accommodation: Private            

Food provided: Yes           

Website: www.kapitiislandnaturetours.co.nz


Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park

Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park is a large conservation project that is financially supported through its tourist retreat. The land was a large sheep station. It is now turned over to nature to restore it to native forest and vegetation. We focus our conservation efforts on protecting the native plant and animal species.            

Volunteers need to be flexible. Depending on the time of year and your particular skills volunteers could be helping with track maintenance, painting, repair work on buildings, cleaning, kitchen work, fishing with a line or net, gathering shell fish and other seafood, or helping guests to enjoy the various activities such as, hiking, snorkelling and horse riding.

Placement: September -April           

Accommodation provided: Private or shared           

Food provided: Yes

Website: www.wildernesspark.co.nz


Living in Peace Project 

The Living in Peace Project aims to combine elements of art, travel, permaculture and education to create an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable business. Part of the business are Rongo Backpackers & Gallery, Karamea Farm Baches and Global Gypsy Gallery, which are financing the development of a permaculture farm on the site.           

Building fencing, planting, gathering firewood, indoor cleaning, clearing bush, trapping, landscaping, office work or reception work, weeding, nursery work, public relations, feeding animals, exercising dogs, clearing equipment, preparing food for guests.

Placement: All year           

Accommodation provided: Shared           

Food provided: No            

Website: www.livinginpeace.com

Pukaha Captive Breeding

This project is participating in conservation work at Pukaha Mount Bruce, Wairarapa breeding endangered native species of birds and other wildlife for distribution to forest restoration projects across New Zealand.           

If chosen, successful volunteers will assist the captive breeding team with a range of duties such as collecting leaf litter, pruning, weeding aviaries, food preparation, feeding, general cleaning, predator proofing and bird observations.

Placement: All year           

Accommodation: private bedroom           

Food Provided: No           

Preference will be given to those candidates that possess some animal husbandry experience, a relevant tertiary qualification, a proven commitment to conservation or are able to stay 6 weeks or longer           

Website: www.pukaha.org.nz


Wellington Indoor Riding School

Located in the Ohariu Valley, just north of Wellington, this is the best served equestrian based business in the capital city of New Zealand. Tuition from qualified riding instructors for beginner to advanced level in jumping, dressage or recreational riding as well as trekking in the beautiful countryside.            

Horse preparation and riding and helping customers. Generally 20 hours per week with flexibility depending on the horse riding times.

Placement: All year           

Accommodation: Own bedroom in family home           

Food provided: Yes

At this time we are only accepting women on this programme.           

Website www.wirs.co.nz


Pony Parties 

The mission of the business is to bring moments of inspiration through animal encounters and interactions, inspiring curiosity through building confidence, creating lasting memories through different opportunities on our farm by connecting children, students, parents & grandparents with our kiwi farmyard.  We do this by having private groups visit our indoor farmyard entertaining area with pony and horse riding outside, as well as an outdoor farmyard with other New Zealand animals.           


  • Farmyard Animal care
  • Working with children and their families in our business providing pony riding and animal interaction opportunities.
  • Tending to daily feeding requirements in the farmyard
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Horse preparation and riding
  • Helping customers

Placement: Anytime            

Accommodation provided: Private bedroom in family home           

Food provided: Yes

Website: http://www.ponyparties.co.nz/


Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park and Revegetation – Ecological / Animal                 

Located in a tranquil native bush location overlooking Orongo Bay, within a kiwi and weka protection zone, this project has an abundance of native bird life. The project works to re-vegetate the islands in the Bay of Islands to encourage native birdlife. They plant small trees and other plants to provide safe habitat for the birds, so that they can feel secure.            

Volunteers work on eliminating pest plants and animals, and planting further areas with native shrubs and trees to improve habitat for native birds and insects.

Placement: Feb- Nov           

Accommodation: Shared bedroom           

Food provided: No           

Website: www.russellaccommodation.co.nz


Social / Community

Katherine Mansfield Birthplace                     

The birthplace of New Zealand’s most internationally famous writer restored to the way it was in the early 20th century. Katherine sent the first 5 years of her life in this house.

Act as a Host and welcome visitors, process entry fees and sell merchandise. Basic admin and help with project work is possible, such as collection care, depending on skill and ability.

Placement: All year

Website: http://www.katherinemansfield.com/


Skylight Trust

Skylight is a national not-for-profit social enterprise that supports people of all ages through times of change, trauma, loss and grief offering a wide range of services to support people facing tough times, which include:

  • Counselling and Support Groups
  • Training and Workshops
  • Resource and Information Centre

Volunteers will assist the marketing manager with local marketing support, creating newsletters, social media and website maintenance. Could also help the fundraising manager with fundraising events such as auction dinners, fair displays and community events.

Placement: All year

Website: Skylight.org.nz            


Sustainability Trust


Sustainability Trust is a non-for-profit organization that helps people to live in warmer, drier, healthier homes. One major project they run is the Curtain Bank which helps people have well-fitted and effective curtains.

Volunteers can help in various ways around the Trust, whether this be communicating with clients who need the services of the curtain bank, planting and seed raising with the EcoCentre Gardener or even assisting the current librarian in the on-site library.

Placement: All year

Website: http://sustaintrust.org.nz/