Please read these guidelines and ensure any other volunteers with you are also aware of them.

Volunteers working in park

General guidelines

  • We support many types of volunteer activities. This may include pest control, tree planting, rubbish clean ups, garden maintenance, environmental monitoring, track building, and heritage protection.
  • We support you. We can offer training, advice, some gear and materials (if required), regular communication, and information on other opportunities (e.g. learning).
  • We cannot provide support for every project. There are many considerations Council staff make when carrying out a project. This includes: if project is in the Long Term Plan, council policies, budget constraints, safety issues and staff time.
  • Volunteers are unpaid. We recognise and appreciate your time, and effort. While we don’t provide payment to volunteers we provide the opportunity for you to learn and contribute to your local parks.
  • Help us keep you safe. We are responsible for ensuring your safety. This applies to all our staff, and for the public who use the parks. There are a few official things we need to ask you before you start. And that sometimes you might not be able to allow certain activities if they are considered high risk.

What we ask of you

  • Fill out any required forms. We may need consent from you, e.g. volunteer agreement.
  • Provide information we request. We may need extra information for safety reasons (e.g. next of kin, medication).
  • Let us know of any hazards or other issues in the parks. 
  • Keep in touch with how you’re going. We're here to help. Ask if you need any further information.
  • Bring the right gear. Volunteers should wear closed-toe footwear and appropriate clothing for the weather. Gloves will be worn by all participants. Volunteers need to bring their own medication (e.g. inhaler, antihistamine, sunblock).
  • Be prepared and safe. The project supervisor should carry a cellphone and a first aid kit. They should also know the volunteers’ names and next of kin contact detail.
  • Do not touch any chemical containers or sharp or dangerous objects. Contact us to let us know. Staff who are trained in dealing with these items (and have the required safety gear) will be sent out.
  • Children must be supervised, and warned not to handle syringes or other dangerous objects.

Additional guidelines for rubbish clean ups

Planning your clean up event:

  • Visit the site before the day. Get to know the best access points and possible hazards so you can tell other volunteers
  • Receive the landowner’s permission to clean up the site where appropriate (e.g. Christchurch City Council). Legally, the owner is responsible for the health and safety of people on their property.

Support for your project:

  • Fill in a volunteer enquiry form or contact us if your event involves a public park or waterway.
  • If you expect to collect a large amount of rubbish, Council may be able to help with rubbish bags and/or collection afterwards – just ask.

When working alongside a waterway (river, wetland, estuary):

  • Take care around slippery or steep banks, and watch tidal conditions.
  • Do not clear away any natural debris (e.g. branches, leaves, mud) from rivers or streams without approval from Council. These are often habitat for local birds and wildlife.
  • Do not walk in streams or waterways for your clean up. There are obvious safety issues with going in the water; please talk to us first.
  • Do not walk in shallow streams (e.g. Heathcote, Avon) during trout spawning times (May to September).
  • Do not remove any vegetation from riverbanks from December to May. This is necessary for whitebait spawning.

For more information

Check out upcoming volunteer events or email