FOMI Work Trips (also known as Working Parties or Working Bees)

What happens on a work party trip to Mana Island?

FOMI uses the Charmaine Karol boat to transport work parties. This means that groups of 16 can travel to Mana Island and carry out monitoring, track and bird site maintenance and share the joys of being on such a beautiful island. 

Volunteers carry out a number of tasks. Members of these teams have developed lizard ID skills, seabird handling and ID skills for invertebrates. There are also opportunities for other people to be involved and develop skills. 

Each year we run 6 work trips. A work opportunities schedule is sent out, usually around October, which gives an outline of the likely tasks that will be required for each trip. 

Around 2 weeks before each trip a notice is sent out to all FOMI members offering the chance to contact our volunteer officer to book a place on the upcoming trip. Volunteers need to be quick responding as these trips are popular. Those who respond quickly to the invitation to attend will be sent an email with a link to details expected of people travelling to Mana.

There is comfortable accommodation in a Lockwood house which sleeps 16 persons in two bunk rooms. The house has electricity, a living/dining area, fully equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with showers and hot water.

Often night work is included. This may involve flax weevil spotting and capture and seabird monitoring. Another option is to do a walk close to the Lockwood houst and attempt to spot kiwi and Cook Strait giant weta.

Evening meals are generally shared which makes it easier and gives variety. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed as we wind down after a day in the fresh air. Those who prefer to prepare their own food can of course do so.

The boat leaves from Mana Marina on Friday at 4pm and pick up from the island is 4pm Sunday. 

Biosecurity: Care needs to be taken to clear any soil and seeds from boot soles and any seeds on Velcro surfaces. No open bags – only zipped up containers please.


Resources on Volunteering for Work Trips

Watch this video to get a taste of a weekend work trip.

Listen to this interview with two of them on RNZ National as part of a series on volunteers in January 2019.

Read a report about the June 2020 work trip – the first one after COVID-19 lockdown – to get an idea about what is involved. There are also reports about work trips in many of our newsletters. And here… 

DOC has a useful video showing what to do for Biosecurity.

FOMI has a Volunteer Safety Plan for working bees on the island. All tasks are assessed for health and safety before work begins each day.

FOMI Volunteers at Work