Volunteer in New Zealand
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 2 meaningful project options
- Projects based throughout the wider area of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland
- Accommodation in a dormitory style hostel
- Between 10 and 30 volunteers start in New Zealand each month
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfasts and lunches during volunteer the program period and 24/7 in-country volunteer support
- Program fees from $885 for 2 weeks
- Endless weekend activities and opportunities to travel
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in New Zealand to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in New Zealand will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore New Zealand with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ New Zealand Program is located in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, which holds roughly one quarter of the country’s population on the North Island. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Auckland.
The program begins on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Extensions beyond 12 weeks can be arranged through our local team directly.
On the NGO Support project, highly motivated volunteers can gain experience working with an NGO abroad while assisting Auckland-based NGOs with a range of administrative tasks and activities. NGOs in New Zealand generally have very limited resources and they rely heavily on volunteer support to run their various initiatives. Volunteers may help with organizing community events such as beach clean ups and tree plantings, education campaigns, networking and communication, organizational development and research. The tasks each volunteer will do will depend on their skills and experience in addition to the needs of the various placements at the time, so volunteers are required to be open-minded, flexible and self-driven. Examples of tasks volunteers may be asked to do include working at an education center greeting guests and answering their questions, conducting and compiling research, mapping projects, monitoring and evaluating events, maintaining small-scale vegetable gardens, meal preparation, data entry and basic administration tasks. Please note, this project requires a minimum duration commitment of 6 weeks.
Coast and Waterway Conservation
Volunteers on the Coast and Waterway Conservation project take part in two distinct sets of activities, giving them an exciting opportunity to meet different people, see different places and help in different ways. Due to the hands-on, outdoors nature of the work on this project, volunteers must be physically fit, able-bodied and not worried about getting a bit muddy! The first set of activities focuses on the restoration of an important part of traditional Māori land, where volunteers engage in a wide range of activities to restore native bush, land and surrounding freshwater ecosystems, while gaining cultural insights and traditional knowledge. Work is seasonal and tasks are based on the time of year, but volunteer activities include weeding, collecting seeds, removing invasive species, organic small-scale farming, mulching, reforestation, composting and working in the native plant nursery. Some volunteers may also work on various monitoring programs, such as for birds, insects, invertebrates, plants and fish. The second set of activities aims to address the challenge of litter and its impacts on our marine environment, taking part in beach and waterway clean-ups, data collection, location scouting and educational activities. Volunteers will spend some of their time on a purpose-built rubbish collection vessel to collect harmful litter from coastlines around Auckland’s harbours, islands and estuaries. On days when the sea is too rough for boating, volunteers will travel by foot or vehicle to land-accessed areas for clean-up activities. Volunteers are encouraged to make use the local team’s educational resources, which are all freely available to spread the word once they return home or continue their travels.
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Auckland on the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Auckland International Airport (AKL). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Britomart, Auckland. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in New Zealand prior to your volunteer program, you will need to arrange your own transport to the accommodation in Auckland the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our New Zealand team in Auckland. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in New Zealand – Introduction to New Zealand, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Weekdays: After the initial orientation, you will have a morning or afternoon shift at your placement and will work for approximately 4 to 6 hours per day.
An example schedule is as follows:
7:30 AM Breakfast and a packed lunch provided by a local cafe near the accommodation.
8.30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating on.
12.00 PM Eat a packed lunch at your placement and then resume your volunteer work.
2:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Plan for the following day’s activities or use your free time as you wish. This could include sightseeing and exploring Auckland’s beautiful surroundings.
Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel in Downtown Auckland, a trendy, centrally-located area of Auckland. The offices of the local team are a 15 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride from the hostel. You should expect to share a room with one to 15 other volunteers of both genders. All rooms have communal, co-ed bathrooms equipped with western toilets and hot showers. Bedding is provided and you just need to bring your own towels and toiletries. Lockers are available but you must bring your own padlock. Accommodation upgrades to private, matrimonial or same-gender rooms and bathrooms can be arranged at an additional cost after registering for the program. This must be arranged at least 2 weeks prior to your program start date. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
WiFi is available at all times on the shared computers in the dining hall, and WiFi for your personal devices can be purchased for less than US$15 per week. To keep connected, you can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Weekday breakfasts are served at a local cafe near the hostel, which typically include breads, spreads, eggs and fruit salad or other daily specials. Placements which begin very early in the morning may require volunteers to pick up a packed breakfast on the way to their placement, to eat during their commute. Packed lunches are also provided to volunteers on weekdays, which volunteers eat during their lunch break at their placement. These are commonly salads, sandwiches or wraps, with a sweet treat for afterwards. It’s important to note that New Zealand portion sizes may be smaller than what you are used to at home, so we recommend bringing some extra money with you for purchasing your own snacks. Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own dinners, either taking advantage of the nearby restaurants or purchasing groceries to prepare themselves in the hostel’s communal kitchen. On weekends, volunteers are provided with vouchers to use at a local grocer for preparing their own meals. Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink in most areas and we strongly recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you.
“It was great learning about the Maori culture and history. I really liked working in nature! I will recommend my younger sister to volunteer here in the future. Everything was great, keep up the good work!” – Lingyan Hu (Native Forest and Waterway Restoration Volunteer in New Zealand)
Volunteers have their weekends free in New Zealand, which is universally renowned for breath-taking scenery, cultural diversity, unique wildlife, adventure sports and relaxed lifestyle. There is enough to do in New Zealand to fill a year’s worth of weekends and still have a lot left undone and Auckland is an extremely advantageous base for travel further afield within New Zealand. Known for its wealth of geographic features crammed into a small country, volunteers can use their weekends to explore glaciers, rainforests, mountains, coastlines, fjords, waterfalls and rolling hills on New Zealand’s Great Walks, or even take easier day hikes.
Beach and marine lovers have an extensive selection of coastline and beaches to enjoy and the opportunity to dive, surf, kayak, swim and snorkel in some of the most beautiful spots in the world. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy surfing, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, white water rafting, skiing and snowboarding, parasailing and mountain biking. Just a short ferry ride away from Auckland, volunteers can spend their day in wineries on Waiheke Island or tramping up an extinct volcano on Rangitoto Island.
See our New Zealand Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in New Zealand!
|Currency||New Zealand Dollar (NZD)|
Weather and climate: As a whole, the climate is considered to be maritime temperate, but New Zealand’s climate is quite varied due to its diversity in geographic features and the severity of weather patterns coming off the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. The North Island’s northern region is subtropical, the west and southernmost regions tend to be windy and rainy, and the east tends to be warm and sunny. The South Island has a sunny, mild northeastern region, a windy and wet southwestern region, and a semi-arid central region. Weather in Auckland, where the IVHQ volunteer program is based, has a breezy, mild and humid temperate climate with warm summers and no dry season. Winter temperatures in Auckland (June through August) range between 8°C and 16°C (46°F and 60°F). Summer temperatures in Auckland (December through February) range between 15°C and 24°C (59°F and 75°F). Clouds and rain are relatively common in Auckland and New Zealand as a whole, with moderate to light rain being the common form of precipitation occurring at some point in the day roughly 50% of the days each year.
Volunteers must be over 18 years of age at the beginning of the program unless volunteering with a guardian who is 18 or older. Volunteers must speak fluent English. Volunteers must present a recent criminal background check to IVHQ’s partner organization staff upon arrival in New Zealand. Volunteers must have adequate travel insurance. Volunteers on the Coast and Waterway Conservation project should be physically fit, able bodied, quick thinking and confident around the water and outdoors. Volunteers who are taking part in the NGO Support project must bring their own laptop to take part in presentations and administrative tasks as part of their project.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.