Experiencing Marine Reserves runs a series of free snorkel days in the weekends which we need volunteer guides for as well as volunteers for our school events. We provide your training and for the community days we usually assist with transport costs as well as providing lunch.
In the Auckland Region we are providing a number of training opportunities - register to find out more.
If you are interested in volunteering please register here:
Auckland - http://eepurl.com/dk0rMP
Northland - https://goo.gl/forms/DQw0bK7OaEBsl0Qf1
Taranaki - https://forms.gle/jDMEck1kNerpkvWB6
Wellington - Visit their website https://mountainstoseawellington.org/support-us/
All volunteers must complete this quiz: https://forms.gle/aNtyptaxVCkRLeQd6
Previous volunteers write about their experience with EMR. For more stories - check out the trip reports written by volunteers.
Koha Kahui-McConnell (November 2019)
I began a journey with EMR after a meeting with Lorna Doogan, discussing how best to get our Rangatahi into te taiao. We agreed the only logical answer was to throw them headfirst, to see if they float. Following this hui, they offered to train my colleagues and I as volunteer snorkel guides and as helping hands on the subsequent haerenga that we planned.
The training was effective and well rounded, ensuring that everyone had a basic understanding of what EMR was as an entity. We were then tested on our skills in the water and given examples of aquatic life that these amazing trips had to offer. Once the training day was completed, the feeling of accomplishment was surpassed only by the desire to want to get into te taiao. I then had the privilege of accompanying EMR to take out four mana Rangatahi from Para Kore Ki Tāmaki to Tawhiti Rahi (The Poor Knights), volunteering as a guide.
The 3-hour journey to Tutukaka was humming with excitement, forethoughts of wonderous blues and amazing life aquatic flooded all thoughts. Travelling with Dive! Tutukaka, we were treated with ebbing swells that dipped and swayed, serving as a reminder that this is the Tangaroa, we are only visitors. The skipper was engaging and attentive and ensured that everyone knew the safety procedures and understood where we were going, Lorna briefed all the guides and made sure that we were all comfortable in what our roles were. I was fortunate enough to have been given a more experienced group of participants, meaning that I simply had to make sure that they enjoyed themselves and that none of them got lost.
I have been asked to write as pure of a report on this experience to the best of my abilities, however I simply do not have the lexicon required to describe what I saw and felt. In other words, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
The Poor Knights marine reserve is the most perfect example of an eco-system that I had ever seen. Kina have to hide because the prehistoric looking snapper prowl the forests of kelp and seaweed, eagle rays lay peacefully under foot and the Sandager wrasses have no problem greeting you with a big bucktoothed kiss. Incredible blue algae (Champia laingii) dotted itself across the waterscape, like a breadcrumb trail set by ancients, amazing visibility meant the trail made itself clear. A few Manus off the boat and a few underwater hero shots and it was time to head back. Stopping in the cave the Para Kore Ki Tāmaki Rangatahi performed Ka Pioioi, using the amazing natural acoustic capabilities to fill the entire space with powerful melodies.
All in all, this has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. If I could suggest anything to anyone, it would be to volunteer for EMR and make sure that you visit this incredible taonga.