A new volunteer army will help buoy one of the Western Bay's most precious environments.

A partnership between Volunteering Bay of Plenty and Western Bay of Plenty District Council will provide a volunteer force to strengthen the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust.

The council signed a one-year contract with Volunteering Bay of Plenty to help find a co-ordinator and to put together a programme for the Trust.

The Trust is a community-based conservation organisation formed in 2002 by Te Puke Forest and Bird and other members of the community concerned at the decline of North Island Brown Kiwi in the Otanewainuku Forest.


Volunteering Bay of Plenty manager Theo Ursum said he was thrilled the council came on board as volunteers were fully stretched already.

"The Kiwi Trust has grown from a very small to a major organisation but has reached a tipping point where volunteers need more structure and direction.

"Volunteering Bay of Plenty specialises in marrying organisations and individuals with coordinated work programmes, advice and ongoing support. The Kiwi Trust has done a fantastic job to date thanks to its core of volunteers - through this contract with the council we aim to help the Trust and other organisations grow the amount they can achieve through volunteer strength and expertise."

Mr Ursum said the volunteering world was changing from an older workforce willing to give their time and skills, to a younger force who have passion.

Volunteering Bay of Plenty is expected to help the Kiwi Trust define and channel volunteers' passion into specific roles and identify skills so that volunteers are placed in the best positions within the organisation.

Council relationships advisor Glenn Ayo said the partnership was a win-win for the Trust.

"Volunteering Bay of Plenty provides consistent recruitment practices, management and continuity for the trust. It ensures volunteers are looked after; get a quality induction and the right opportunities for their own personal development.

"We have this incredible virgin forest protection programme on our doorstep so this new approach to volunteering will be more inclusive of people in Tauranga and Western Bay. This, in turn, will attract more interest from the philanthropic sector funders and sponsors."