Volunteers help restore island's natural vegetation

20 February 2014
Students who signed up with the Volunteer Hub tending to shrubery at Motutapu Island.

A group of student volunteers have crossed waters to restore some natural vegetation.

Students from the University of Auckland travelled to Motutapu Island, a small island which resides beside the iconic Rangitoto Island, northeast of Auckland City, and in the Hauraki Gulf.

The students were there as part of the Island’s ecological restoration project’s “Volunteer Day”, there to restore vegetation destroyed in the mid 19th Century, as a result of volcanic eruption and the introduction (and subsequent removal of) pests.

The group was organised through the University’s Volunteer Hub, which has an online register that allows students to volunteer their time for various initiatives. At Motutapu, the volunteers who helped with tree planting, weedbusting, and nursery work among other activities.

While there are the obvious ecological benefits to the island that will be a product of this, and other, volunteer efforts, Hormoz noted one of the wider benefits of volunteering.

“It will help you make new friends and learn new skills – today, we were taught about endangered nature and wildlife,” says Hormoz who was able to meet other students from across the University in what is his first month in the country.

The University’s Volunteer Hub Coordinator Laura Marley was delighted with the project.  She said "It was great to have such a keen group involved in the reforestation." 

Motutapu Island is holding another volunteer day on 16 March 2014.