Locals encouraged to lend a hand to protect New Zealand's heritage

There will be a Whanganui Volunteer Walk and performances next week to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

From June 19-25, Whanganui people are encouraged to spend some time volunteering.

Whanganui volunteer coordinator for the Department of Conservation Peter Lock said people could use the time to help protect New Zealand's heritage.

"Our nature will thrive when we all engage our hearts, hands and minds to conserve our unique environment," he said.


"It's great to see people getting together with others and making the time to volunteer for conservation. From helping out with our local bush reserves, sand dunes and wetlands, there is something for all of us to do.

"Volunteering doesn't need to take a lot of time - it could be as simple as planting a native tree, pulling out pesky weeds or picking up rubbish on the beach.

"For example, the friends of the local reserve Gordon Park have regular working bees at the reserve, but also need a hand from people willing to grow on some native plants in their backyards."

On Friday next week there will be a volunteer walk from the old Chronicle building to Majestic Square. The walk will start at midday and will be followed by a kapa haka performance from Whanganui City College students, a performance by classical singer Hayley Sellars, and a speech by deputy mayor Hamish McDouall.

The event, organised by the Whanganui District Council and Volunteering New Zealand, will also have free drinks and a free sausage sizzle.

Guest speakers include National Council of Women vice-president and justice of the peace Vanisa Dhiru, and Volunteer NZ chief executive Scott Millar.

To find out how to volunteer for conservation work go to doc.govt.nz or naturespace.org.nz.