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Source: Auckland Council

For the second year, Auckland Council’s compliance team is welcoming summer interns for work experience.

These year-eight students are joining the ranks to support the team to complete significant pieces of bush and wetland covenant monitoring work throughout the region.

The 12-week summer internship programme provides paid full-time work, mentoring and learning opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience and apply the skills and knowledge that aligns to their field of study.

“I was impressed with the calibre of students who applied for the positions and the enthusiasm they brought to their roles,” says Adrian Wilson, Auckland Council’s Manager Proactive Compliance.

“Their work in the field is invaluable. Large areas are covered by covenants on private land across the region. Last summer our focus was on Helensville and Wellsford, this season will focus on Āwhitu, Pukekohe, Drury and South Head.

“When we began the monitoring programme in the summer of 2021-2022, initial visits revealed the rate of compliance for properties with resource consent conditions on their sites was only at 15 per cent. That rate has now increased to 52 per cent thanks to the work of the students,” adds Adrian.

Braydon Burton was an intern in the council’s Covenant Compliance team last year and recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Applied Conservation and Environmental Sciences at Auckland University of Technology. A local from Beachlands, he says at the end of his second year of study he was desperate to get to work and apply his studies to the environment around him.

“When I first heard about the internship,” says Braydon, “I thought it sounded interesting, would help me to put my new skills to practical use, and give me the opportunity to explore the greater Auckland area. And it did – I spent my summer exploring sections and microhabitats of native bush, hiking paddocks, and meeting lots of great locals.

“On the whole, I found landowners were engaged with the monitoring project and keen to learn how to care for and enhance their bush and wetland covenants.”

Braydon was keen to get stuck in again and has been accepted for another internship role again this summer. 

“I missed the experiences and environments I’d been exposed to over the previous summer and couldn’t wait to apply again. The role gave me the opportunity to back up a lot of the information I’ve spent the last couple of years learning,” he says.

Last season, a total of 315 site reports were issued covering 703 covenants.

The students will be out in the field from 12 December.    

Auckland Council advertises the internships through Auckland University’s Natural Science Department each year in October.