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Young Volunteers enhance social values

Nicky Wagner

It is great to see young people rolling up their sleeves and volunteering for conservation.

This week is National Volunteer Week and is a chance to celebrate people of all ages making time in their busy lives to volunteer and help protect New Zealand’s natural heritage.

More than 15,000 people participated in Department of Conservation volunteer programmes last year, working the equivalent of about 35,000 work days.

On top of this over 20,000 people volunteer on conservation programmes with community groups that DOC works closely with, such as Kiwis for kiwi or Enviroschools.

Volunteering by young people is coming to our attention more and more. These teenagers and young people are becoming our conservation champions of the future by also inspiring their friends and families to get involved.

Whether it is something as simple as picking up rubbish along the coastline or clearing weeds, it’s great to see our young people and teenagers are realising the value of our environment.

It is easy to volunteer and you don’t have to do it alone. There are many community groups involved in conservation projects in the local area who would welcome new members or even just a few hours support.

I would like to thank volunteers of all ages for making time in their busy lives to volunteer for conservation. We value your input.

Nicky Wagner is Associate Minister of Conservation. The picture here shows a group of young volunteers placing a bridge as part of a partnership between the Department of Conservation and Te Kuiti High School woodworking class.

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