Volunteers planting
Image: M Sidaway | ©


Join DOC on a day out restoring and enhancing habitat for the native freshwater fish species that call the lower Clutha River/Mata-Au catchment home.


Planting will begin again in spring. Register your interest by completing the online application form


DOC, together with Contact Energy and rural landowners, are improving freshwater habitat within the lower Clutha catchment. Our focus is on ensuring tuna/longfin eel, kanakana/lamprey, inanga/whitebait and giant kōkopu continue to have healthy, productive waterways to call home.

We are planting specific areas in the catchment to enhance habitat and give better shade, shelter and food sources so populations of these special native fish can grow and thrive. The plantings will also help stabilise edges, manage sediment, beautify areas and provide vegetation for insects and bird life.

The current project sites are on the banks of beautiful meandering streams, rivers and lagoons on private farms.

What you’ll be doing

A day out in the field with our rangers will mostly involve planting native species such as harakeke/flax, purei/Carex sedge, tī kōuka/cabbage tree and toetoe. It might also involve laying out plants in the best places for growth and survival, as well as the important task of official photographer, to record the good work being achieved.

The lower Clutha planting days offer a great opportunity for hands-on involvement in important local conservation projects. As well as visiting beautiful locations, you’ll be improving the health of freshwater ecosystems and helping secure a future for the remarkable species that depend on them.


You’ll be working in either:

  • the lower Clutha River/Mata-Au catchment area, 1 hour south of Dunedin, or
  • around Waitahuna, 1 hour west of Dunedin just before Lawrence on SH8.

Transport can be provided and will leave from John Wickliffe House, Princes St, Dunedin.

What's provided on the day

  • Transport if required
  • Health and Safety guidance and activity training
  • Tools
  • Gloves
  • Tea and coffee

What to bring

  • Long-sleeved tops, long pants and covered footwear
  • A sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • If wet or cold, bring waterproof layers and a warm hat
  • Plenty of food and drinking water

How to apply

Register to volunteer by completing the online application form.


If you have questions about this activity email volunteerscoastalota@doc.govt.nz 

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