I began my DOC career as a volunteer on Stewart Island/Rakiura, after leaving my job as a Senior 3d Modeller in Christchurch looking for a happier, greener, more fulfilling lifestyle. I did something right and after my volunteer stint was over I was offered employment with the DOC team on Rakiura, working on weeds, possums, rats, tracks, huts, etc., over the course of many short-term contracts. I applied for a permanent role on the kākāpō team, and while I didn’t get it I was on their radar for the 2016 kākāpō breeding season. The team ‘borrowed’ me for 3 months, which ended up being a year over the largest kākāpō breeding season to date. This left me in the perfect position to join the awesome team permanently when long-serving ranger Tim moved on.
I love working in the outdoors, and to do so with such a unique and charismatic species is a real privilege. My role as a field ranger has me out and about on all of the islands where kākāpō live for up to two thirds of the year. It can be tough to be away from home so much, but it helps when you’ve got great friends and teammates out there with you. I, like the other field rangers, mainly work directly with the birds, but also enjoy working on the huts and their power systems, all the gadgets we get to use, and especially enjoy when I get to put some of my old modelling and GIS skills to use. I’m also a keen amateur photographer and I’m pretty stoked to provide a lot of the images of the birds and the islands used for advocacy. You can follow my photos on flickr.com/theylooklikeus.