Kia ora from our ‘not an office, office’

Department of Conservation —  30/07/2021

July 31 is World Ranger Day. For us, this is a chance to celebrate our hard-working rangers across Aotearoa, and show you some snaps they took of the view from their ‘not an office, office’. Try not to be too jealous.

By the Department of Conservation

Trainee Ranger Nik Gibson taking a well-earned break after installing one of the track markers on Mt Bee in Taka Ra Haka Conservation Park

World Ranger Day acknowledges the critical work of rangers on the front-line of conservation across the globe. For us, it’s a chance to celebrate the amazing things our team do.

Being a ranger isn’t always glamorous, but there’s no denying that the work is important and some of the views are pretty neat.

Rangers Christina Paterson and Robbie Miller on Jack Edgerton Bridge
Ranger Supervisor Jo Mendonca in a kayak, radio tracking matuku/bittern at Waimarino wetland, Motuoapa

Tracking matuku/bittern is no easy task, and the species are globally endangered, but our experts are developing methods for surveying bittern systematically and for restoring wetlands.

Previously for World Ranger Day, we’ve done blog interviews, and YouTube livestreams, and even made Go Pro supercuts so you could see what our rangers see, but this year we thought we’d let the pictures do the talking.

In the course of doing their work, our team take in some incredible sights.

Ranger Charles Barnett on Campbell island in front of a colony of breeding Campbell island mollymawk and grey headed mollymawk

We’re the government agency charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. Our work involves all sorts — managing threats to nature such as predators and biosecurity; monitoring and reporting; restoration; research and development … the list goes on.

Rangers Jessica Roeger and Justyce Maniapoto on Lake Rotopiko-Serpentine

Our staff are hard-working, and passionate about the natural environment and conservation in Aotearoa.

In the pic on the right, Charles is way closer to sea lions than any member of the public should ever be.

This feels like a good time to remind our readers that the staff in these images are professionals, and these images were taken in the course of doing their jobs.

Members of the public need to give seals and sea lions space and stay at least 20 m away, and keep dogs on a lead.

Read more about good behaviour near seals and sea lions on our website. This is particularly important at this time of year, when young seals and male seals of any age leave their breeding colonies, explore, and rest. (This includes newly weaned pups finding their way in the world). 

Treaty Ranger Luke Barnsley at Waikanae Estuary
Ranger Kerry Jones doing vegetation monitoring at Whangamarino
πŸ“Έ: Lizzie Sharp, DOC

Many of our huts and parks have a long history and fascinating stories, and Martin’s Hut and Waikaia Forest Conservation Area are no exception.

Rangers Jo Mendonca (front), (L – R) Ian McNickle, John Mytton and Mike Fraser Track cutting and marking the Ngapuketurua track at Kaimanawa Forest Park. In the background is Mt Ruapehu, Mt  Ngāuruhoe and Mt Tongariro
Rangers Jessica Roeger and Mark Lammas flying Whangamarino Wetlands

Jessica, Mark and the team were on a trip to do water quality sampling at Lake Ruatuna, which happens monthly. Ruatana is a beautifully picturesque Waikato peat lake, and home to some of our avian wetland taonga, like the endangered pΕ«weto/spotless crake, and the critically endangered Matuku/bittern, and plenty more.

A snapshot of the Lower North Island Treaty Ranger team doing a hikoi along the Manawatu Estuary (L-R): Tryphena Cracknell (currently Chatham Islands ops manager), Ruby McKay from the Gisborne team, Alyssce Te Huna (check out Alyssce’s awesome blog here); Gemma Wright (kaitiaki on Matiu Sommes), and Jo Waitoa, from the Wairarapa team.
Whangarei Rangers travelling to the Poor Knights to run tracking tunnels and weed control (L-R) Les Judd, Nigel Miller and Evan Davies
CITES Ranger Avi Narula at a CITES outreach event at the Auckland Arts festival showcasing a CITES protected elephant tusk.

Trust us when we say this isn’t even the most unusual item that Avi and the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) team have encountered in the course of their jobs.

Business Support Officer Sandi Van Leeuwen and Ranger Scott at Mt Heale Hut, Great Barrier Island, looking West to Hauturu and Port Fitzroy.
πŸ“Έ: by a visitor

And finally, here’s one more epic pic from Ranger Supervisor Jo Mendonca, who truly made the office-bound staff member compiling this blog weep with her pics.

Ranger Supervisor Jo Mendonca one more photo on top of Mt Pihanga (facing Lake Taupo), spraying heather

There were heaps of awesome pics to choose from for this blog. We hope you enjoyed this view from our rangers’ ‘not an office, office’.

The sights are pretty impressive.

Shoutout to the team, all of them, but especially our rangers, who are doing the hard yards on the front line. Our team work hard, go the extra mile, and do their best every day for conservation in Aotearoa.

Kia ora.

Have a good World Ranger Day.

You can learn more about World Ranger Day on our website.

For more about becoming a DOC Ranger, start with our careers page.

7 responses to Kia ora from our ‘not an office, office’

    Carole Frances Long 31/07/2021 at 10:53 am

    Great team doing great work – makes us proud!


    From Jimmy Johnson wx Ranger Turangi. Happy Ranger Day, you all still rock.


    You lovely people!


    Great story and pics about wonderful people enjoying doing wonderful work – the links are all so good to follow too!

    Gordon Sylvester 30/07/2021 at 9:07 am

    Interesting ! track cutting in the Kaimanawa. Wish I had those mechanical cutters when I did the original tracks from Mt Tiringi into the Kaipo. Poronui and later to the Cascade Hut on the Taranga Taupo River 1967-68. No such thing as HiVis then either.
    Well done.


    Wonderful sites but more importantly wonderful work.