Volunteer Student Army gets to work in resort

University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army secretary Jessica Gosling (front left) and events...
University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army secretary Jessica Gosling (front left) and events manager Kahlil Evans alongside some of the volunteers working at the Kiwi Birdlife Park on Saturday afternoon. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
Almost 90 University of Canterbury students spent Saturday doing back-breaking work in Queenstown, during their first Student Volunteer Army camp in the resort.

The students, split into four groups, worked with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust planting native trees at Morningstar Terrace, in Arthurs Point, the Tucker Beach Wildlife Reserve, and Jardine Park, in Kelvin Heights, as well as weeding a steep embankment at Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park.

Events manager Kahlil Evans said the army, which formed after the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, did two camps every year, but this was the farthest south they had been.

Previously the Wakatipu was thought to have been "too far away", but the opportunity arose to make the six-hour journey post-lockdown, and they took it.

Secretary Jessica Gosling said the Canterbury army was further bolstered by members of the University of Otago Student Volunteer Army, who were learning "how to run a camp with this many people hours away from home".

"It’s a bit of a logistical feat."

The army had previously travelled all over the South Island, including to Kaikoura and Hokitika, responding to the community’s needs.

Previous work had included painting, sorting library books, and digging out whale bones.


Great to see young people showing good work ethics that will stay with them for years to come

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