Kaitiaki Whenua Trainee Ranger
Level 4

Kaitiaki Whenua Trainee Ranger

  • Fees Free eligible programme

    Learn more(external link)

  • Locations and dates


    14 June 2021
    Project Moturoa
    14 June 2021
    Trainee Ranger
  • Study options

    Full-time only

  • Length

    52 weeks including 47 full-time teaching weeks (34 of which are on campus) and 5 weeks of study breaks

  • Total credits


  • Fees

    Kaitiaki Whenua Trainee Ranger: $5,266 plus $220 Student Services Levy; $Project Moturoa: $5,397 plus $220 Student Services Levy

    Compulsory Student Services Fee also applies ($240 for fulltime students).
    Fees listed are for each year of the programme, indicative only and may vary with course selection. View course details for individual fees.

  • National qualification code

    NZ2963 - New Zealand Certificate in Conservation (Operations) (Level 4)

Free programme.

NMIT is the only tertiary institute in the country that works in partnership with Department of Conservation (DOC) to provide graduates with this Kaitiaki Whenua Trainee Ranger programme.

This programme is eligible for fees-free under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). Find full details about the fund here.(external link)

If you care about the environment and enjoy the outdoors, studying conservation is a great option for you. Conservation is about protecting New Zealand’s natural ecosystems and supporting native wildlife. In our world of climate change and species loss, a career in conservation gives you the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet. With three stunning national parks in Te Tauihu (Top of the South Island), there’s no better place to study conservation. 

Skills acquired on the programme lead to a range of work opportunities as a ranger and other outdoor occupations.

There are two delivery models for this programme.

Project Moturoa

Project Moturoa is an initiative that connects Māori learners with local iwi and includes marae-based education. The programme has a strong focus on Te Ao Māori so you will be learning how to approach conservation from a Māori worldview.  

Based at the Richmond Campus and Moturoa (Rabbit) Island throughout the year, students will spend time on Moturoa learning about pest control, whakapapa of animals and their place in the ecosystem; understanding how human interference can impact the ecosystem and how we can also work towards re-establishing the balance.

Project Moturoa students will regularly stay at noho marae and along with their learnt conservation skills will also work on a related iwi or marae-based project, and may have a relevant skill taught by iwi. The time with iwi noho marae includes a deep cultural briefing of the history and teachings of that particular iwi.

Successful graduates will transition into employment, cadetships or further education.

Trainee Ranger

You will learn the core skills required to be a ranger, including how to build hiking tracks, animal and pest control, New Zealand ecology, and how to use the latest conservation technology.

Studying conservation means getting your hands dirty in the outdoors. You will work alongside DOC and regional council staff, complete a four-month work experience placement, and learn from expert tutors who are passionate about conservation.

As part of the programme you will do a summer work placement as well as off campus training days, usually once a fortnight, to work alongside DOC, regional council staff or to be tutored by experts in specific areas of learning. As part of this programme Department of Conservation offer a set number of two year contracts to graduates every year.

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