Volunteer Wednesday veterans in Whangarei

Department of Conservation —  14/08/2017

Two of Whangarei’s longest and most consistent volunteers for DOC were recognised for their efforts during last week’s ‘Volunteer Wednesday’, a monthly volunteering event run by the Whangarei Office and local community groups.

Alison Vesey and Trudy McKnight standing in front of the iconic maunga Manaia Photo: Laurence Sullivan.

Alison Vesey and Trudy McKnight standing in front of the iconic maunga Manaia Photo: Laurence Sullivan

Alison Vesey has participated consistently in the “Volunteer Wednesday” programme since its inception in 2012 and volunteered for approximately 300 hours.

Alison clearing privet on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson

Alison clearing privet on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson

She says that it was just by pure chance that she happened on the programme.

“When I retired I was asked to feed my neighbour’s cat while they went on holiday. Tucked under the cat’s food was a leaflet with a list of Volunteer Groups available in Whangarei. The list I came across had DOC asking for volunteers on the third Wednesday of each month”. – Alison

Already an avid volunteer for conservation with other groups in the Whangarei area, Alison recalls that she went along and has never regretted it.

Alison is part of the local tramping club, she volunteers regularly for Matakohe/Limestone Island (a kiwi crèche right in Whangarei) and has traveled extensively around New Zealand (completed all the Great Walks) and the world and still finds the time to join her fellow volunteer whānau when it comes time for Volunteer Wednesday.

Trudy joined the programme roughly a year later in 2013 and clocked up about 240 hours. Like Alison, she has been consistently attending since.

She first came across Volunteer Wednesday when she reduced her working hours to volunteer around Whangarei more. She saw DOC were looking for volunteers and joined up.

Trudy (left) helping out with on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson.

Trudy (left) helping out with on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson

Like Alison, every Volunteer Wednesday is memorable for Trudy.

“Where would we be without DOC? Conservation is essential to preserve what we have and to restore what we have demolished in previous years” – Trudy

Trudy is also an avid tramper and has been on many of the Great Walks and other DOC tracks and staying in DOC huts along the way.

Alison and Trudy destroying wild ginger on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson.

Alison and Trudy destroying wild ginger on a Volunteer Wednesday. Photo: Fiona Watson

These two amazing volunteers are truly an asset to Whangarei. They epitomize what the volunteering programme is all about — getting passionate conservationists involved in conservation, and providing opportunities for them to utilise their passion, and to help protect nature in their communities.


Want to get involved in volunteering for conservation? Find out more on the volunteering section of our website.

2 responses to Volunteer Wednesday veterans in Whangarei

  1. 

    Well done Alison – super rewarding for herself but also for DOC in all that she assists with.