Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) is back for another epic year in 2021. We’re very proud of our achievements in 2020 despite it being a very challenging year for all. We built on lots of great projects such as our Conservation Work Skills Programme, Wasp Wipeout and Hoschtetter’s Frog Recovery, and added new restoration sites including at Sanders Reserve in Auckland, Bullock Creek in Punakaiki and Cranford Basin in Christchurch. We worked with many new partners, planted lots of trees and pulled lots of weeds. Best of all, we met and worked alongside so many new and old volunteers and because of you, achieved so much.
In 2020, with the help of thousands of volunteers on 563 volunteer events, CVNZ planted 158,000 native trees and shrubs across New Zealand. We also collected 8,300 kg of rubbish and weeded more than 170,000 m2 of conservation land. On top of this, our volunteers conducted water quality surveys, repaired fences, maintained tracks, collected seeds and so much more. You guys are amazing and we couldn’t do it without you.
Here are some of our Highlight Projects:
Punakaiki Restoration Project and Bullock Creek – 53,645 trees grown and planted in 2020
On 11 February, we planted our 200,000th tree on our Punakaiki Restoration site with the help of the kids from Barrytown School and our many other supporters from the local community and beyond. We’ve come a long way since 2009 when the first tree was planted and our 75 hectare site was named Te Ara Tāiko Nature Reserve. This project began when the Department of Conservation (DOC) and CVNZ reached an agreement to re-plant 75 hectares of coastal land previously used for mining the mineral Ilmenite and for grazing cattle. This year, our Punakaiki team also added a new restoration site, Bullock Creek. This project has also brought lots of new employment to the area, with a nursery and revegetation crew of 10 people taken on to grow and plant 495,000 trees per year here over the next four years thanks to MPI and the Restoring Nature Fund.
Atiu Creek Regional Park – 30,000 trees grown and planted in 2020
Atiu Creek, in the Kaipara Harbour, was officially opened to the public as a Regional Park in April 2008. The park contains a number of significant areas of native forest and wetlands in the gullies and provides habitat for the nationally threatened New Zealand dabchick and brown teal. Over the past few years, CVNZ has built an onsite native plant nursery and grown and planted 30,000 trees here each year to help restore this park back to native bush. To date, we’ve planted more than 150,000 trees at Atiu Creek and aim to continue and build on this project over the coming years.
Conservation Work Skills
The Conservation Work Skills (CWS) programme was developed by CVNZ in partnership with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) in 2018 to help unemployed people get back into the workforce. The ethos of the CWS programme is that all New Zealanders should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. We understand that caring for the environment provides a platform for engaging with people, building skills and employment pathways, as well as improved health and wellbeing. CWS equips participants with practical and transferable skills and provides opportunities for local job seekers to gain paid employment. A key focus of this programme is the development of employment pathways and partnerships with businesses to develop sustainable employment outcomes. In 2020, the CWS programme worked with 150 participants on projects in Auckland, Greymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Westport. To date 70 % of participants have gone on to paid employment or study and not needed to return to the benefit. We hope that we can continue to build on these outcomes and expand the programme in coming years.
We’re gearing up for an even bigger year in 2021. The world needs our efforts now more than ever. We have lots of new projects in the works and are always in need of sponsors, partners and volunteers. Keep an eye out for ways to get involved or contact [email protected] to find out more.