Filmmakers document Tiritiri Matangi volunteers

Department of Conservation —  21/06/2016

By Kirsty Prior, Volunteering Coordinator

This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is ‘Make time – Whai whā’. Filmmaker Gill Williams and her team have done more than make time. They’ve given time and skills at their own expense to showcase what other conservation volunteers are doing on the opposite side of the world.

The North Island kōkako, pictured in a still from the Wildside film.

North Island kōkako on Tiritiri Matangi

Gill is an award-winning travel and conservation journalist and travel editor of the Sunday Mirror in the United Kingdom. She has been campaigning for responsible tourism since the early eighties and has her own company giving travellers tips on how to travel responsibly. She is also Editorial Director for Wildside Productions, a video production company specialising in conservation, science and educational filming.

Each year Gill and her team produce one film free of charge to promote a worthy cause. In early 2015, Gill visited Tiritiri Matangi Scientific Reserve, Trip Advisor’s number one destination in Auckland. She joined one of the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi’s guided walks around the island and exchanged notes with the guide. The Supporters followed up and Gill agreed to donate her team’s time to benefit the Tiritiri Matangi programme.

Tiritiri Matangi volunteer Morag Fordham in a still from the Wildside film.

Tiritiri Matangi volunteer Morag Fordham

The filming is a win-win for all. The Supporters are able to showcase the amazing work they’re doing. Green travel guides can show travellers a responsible travel destination close to New Zealand’s largest city and busiest airport. Wildside Productions can offer the video as promotional material, such as to airlines flying into New Zealand; and they have offered DOC worldwide rights to circulate the footage allowing conservation messages to reach far and wide.

And here it is. Make time to check it out:


National Volunteer Week 2016 takes place from 19 to 25 June. During this week we celebrate the invaluable contribution volunteers make to our communities. More information can be found on the Volunteering New Zealand website.