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

September 2023 Update

FOMI now has access to the Charmaine Karol again to transport work parties as previously notified. This means that groups of 16 can once again travel to Mana Island and carry out monitoring, track and bird site maintenance and share the joys of being on such a beautiful island. We have completed one trip 8-12 September. It was great to see a number of familiar faces again.

Glen and Vicki Cooper bought Charmaine Karol and are having the engines replaced.

Volunteers carry out a number of tasks. Members of these teams have developed lizard ID skills, seabird handling and ID skills for invertebrates. 

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. This means members can mark down a trip on their calendar if the activities match their interests. Around 2 weeks before each trip a notice is sent out to all 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.

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, seabird monitoring. Another option is to do a walk close to the Lockwood 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.

The boat leaves from Mana Marina Friday at 4pm and pick up from the island is 4pm Sunday. This allows those who work during the week to get home ready and be ready for Monday morning.

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

Dale Shirtliff 17 September 2023


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

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