Volunteer in New Zealand
Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud”, New Zealand is justly famous for its stunning scenery and dramatic landscape, featured so prominently in the Lord of the Rings films. Friendly, welcoming and laid back, it is just the place for anyone looking for adventure and the adrenalin rush of outdoor sports on an overseas work placement. We have placements throughout the country in some wonderful schools and outdoor activity facilities for a memorable gap year. Volunteering in New Zealand offers something for everyone!
Outdoor Camp Assistant
New Zealand is famous for its amazing scenery and outdoor life style, so volunteering as an Outdoor Camp Assistant is a perfect way of to immerse yourself in the Kiwi way of life! If you are adventurous & sporty, enjoy camping, meeting lots of people & being around children, then these placements could well be for you! This is an amazing opportunity to help others develop their independence and adventurous skills, as well as your own!
If you’re looking for a few more home comforts compared to outdoor placements, then volunteering in a boarding school might be more your thing. Food & onsite accommodation is included during term time, when you will gain valuable work experience helping staff in the administration of the school, supervising pupils with homework and organising extra-curricular activities. AND you have all those holidays to go and explore this amazing country!
What to expect:
Gap Year New Zealand School Assistant roles are mostly in boarding schools. Life in a New Zealand boarding school is not a 9-5 existence as you may be asked to supervise in the early mornings, ensuring the dorms are tidy and the students are ready for breakfast. In the evenings you might be asked to assist with prep and supervise extra-curricular activities. The same is true of weekend duty when you may take pupils on outings.
You may also have the opportunity to tailor your duties around your interests, as volunteers will generally be relied upon to help with many extra-curricular activities: You could use your sports prowess out on the field or artistic skills to help with drama, music and art clubs. For the willing volunteer there will always be lots of activities to get involved with!
If you decide to opt for an outdoor activity instructor role, you could find yourself volunteering in a camp which hosts schools and community groups in a range of beautiful settings across New Zealand. You can expect to work approx. 40 hours per week, usually between 8am-5pm, and would be involved in instructing activities (full training provided), helping with maintenance, working in the kitchen and contributing to cleaning duties. This kind of placement would suit a volunteer who enjoys communal living, meeting lots of people and being around children.
Accommodation, food and allowance
Those in a school can have their own room in the boarding house or a flat provided by the school which is usually shared with another volunteer and/or staff. Those in day schools will live with a host family. At outdoor camps, accommodation and food is provided by the camp or centre. Accommodation varies from place to place but it is comfortable. If a volunteer goes on expeditions you will be camping.
Each placement will provide a weekly allowance and food or an allowance that includes food costs.
Is it for me?
New Zealand rewards those with a “can do” attitude. You will be expected to throw yourself into all aspects of school life and be positive, friendly and helpful to the staff and students you are working with. The schools will want to make the most of whatever skills you can bring them, be that in sports, music, art, drama or academically.
Need to know
- Pre departure briefing: all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure.
- On arrival: volunteers attend a 2-3 day orientation before placements commence.
Free time and travel:
Volunteers in New Zealand are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do. Sheep may outnumber people, but do not be fooled by New Zealand’s sparse population density into thinking that you will have nothing to do during your free time. Kiwis are renowned for their warm and outgoing disposition, and the chances are your social calendar will be full in no time.
If you do find time outside of your social commitments, the country offers a wide range of opportunities to sample outdoor activities under breath-taking scenery. New Zealand is the birthplace of bungee jumping and adrenaline seekers will also find abundant opportunities to try out black-water rafting, zorbing and skydiving.
In the evenings and at weekends when you have free time, volunteers are encouraged to make the most of nearby amenities such as theatres, wineries, skiing facilities, restaurants and fishing.
Aside from these attractions, New Zealand boasts beaches, mountains, fiords, native forests and thermal regions.
There are also 10 major wine growing regions, where you can sample (arguably) the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc.
And no placement in New Zealand is complete until you have witnessed first-hand the country’s passion for rugby: Join a local club, or just watch from the stands and let yourself get carried away by the atmosphere.
(Please note – we have made several changes recently to ensure our viability during Covid-19 and beyond. One change you may notice is we now list our pricing in US dollars. To convert to your own currency, you can use xe.com)
Lattitude Application Fee – $50 (USD)
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee: $2800 (USD)
This fee is broken into three payments:
Once you have been interviewed and accepted into the programme, you will be required to pay a $500USD deposit to secure your position. The deposit covers our costs for identifying, assessing and matching you to a suitable placement.
Under normal circumstances, this is a non-refundable deposit. However, due to the uncertain timeframe of COVID-19 travel restrictions etc, we have adopted a more flexible approach to ensure there is no financial risk to our volunteers proceeding with their Lattitude travel plans.
Your deposit will be refundable if: You have paid your deposit after 11 March 2020 (the date WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic) and if nearing your scheduled departure, as a result of COVID 19, you are still unable to travel, or if, following government advice, your destination is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you are still unable to travel to your first-choice destination, we can work with you to look at alternative destinations at short notice. In the unprecedented scenario of no appropriate departures being available, we will look to reschedule, offer you the opportunity of deferring, or refunds will be made available.
Deposit Update – October 2020
From 8th October 2020, Lattitude will refund deposit payments in the event that Lattitude needs to cancel a specific programme departure due to COVID 19 or if international/government COVID 19 advice is to avoid travel to that destination. Lattitude will always encourage volunteers to consider an alternative destination or to defer travel.
You will be required to pay an interim payment of $1,000USD no more than 6 months before departure. This payment covers Lattitude costs involved in the pre-departure stage of your placement.
The remainder of the Lattitude fee of $1300USD will be due 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.
As part of the placement the following is provided:
- In-depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
- Links with returned volunteers
- Relevant DBS/police check fees
- Advice on obtaining a Visa
- Pre-departure briefing
- Airport pickup on arrival
- Accommodation for the duration of stay in New Zealand
- Food provided by host (may not be included during school holidays)
- Weekly allowance (provided by your placement)
- In-country orientation as part of country programme network of international Lattitude volunteers
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
- Certificate of completion and references (on request)
- International Flights
- Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
- Travel insurance
- Inoculations (if applicable)
- Pocket Money for weekends/holidays/post-placement travel
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here.
“I can honestly say, I’d go back to New Zealand like a shot. Becoming a part of a new place is indescribable, all I can say is – I had the time of my life, when can I go back?”Elenor, Schools Assistant