Ranger internship changes perceptions – OurA Auckland

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For Aimee Hoeberigs, a career as a ranger was something she always wanted to do, but she never thought it would be in New Zealand’s largest city of Aotearoa.

“I never realized Auckland council had rangers on staff,” Aimee revealed.

“Like most Kiwis, my photo of Tāmaki Makaurau was of the city center and the office towers. But moving here for my internship revealed an incredibly rich and diverse landscape that I quickly fell in love with.

The Auckland Council Ranger Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for people studying environment, recreation, tourism or agriculture to gain hands-on experience as a ranger, which Aimee knows from. first hand.

“I started as a trainee ranger in the summer of 2017/18, and it was an incredible experience. I learned so much and every day was different, ”she recalls.

“I spent a lot of my internship in Long Bay interacting a lot with the public, which was great for my relationship skills.”

The other place she spent time during her internship was Shakespear Open Sanctuary.

“Coming from Long Bay, I had to adapt and adapt quickly because the two parks are really different in their orientation. While Long Bay is more focused on recreation, Shakespear is an open sanctuary, so there was a lot of pest control and an emphasis on conservation.

But one of the cool things about Shakespear is that the Defense Force Tamaki Leadership Center is on the edge of the regional park and inside the Predator Fence, so we had to keep in regular communication with Royal New Zealand. Navy when access was required for predator control and surveillance.

Aimee (2nd from right) watches the release of a New Zealand fur seal at Muriwai Regional Park. From left to right: Gabrielle Goodin (DoC), Vet Dr James Chatterton (Auckland Zoo), Aimee, Van Haresnape (Auckland Council Ranger).

Despite the differences between the two parks, for Aimee there was something that didn’t change.

“People’s passion for the environment and our parks is so stimulating and inspiring.

“I didn’t realize how many people and community groups wanted to work with us and help in our parks.

This is something that continues to energize Aimee and it is one of the strengths of her work. But there are other things she loves about the job.

“The uniform,” jokes Aimee. “Seriously, the diversity is incredible. I wish I could have spent more time in each of the different parks I have worked in because there is so much to learn every day.

A Muriwai gecko in Aimee's hand

A Muriwai gecko in Aimee’s hand

Her time at Muriwai Regional Park has given Aimee some great stories. One concerned the Muriwai gecko.

“I feel so privileged to have been involved in tracking a new species of gecko. It was just spectacular to find this wonderful species so close to the larger city of Aotearoa. ”

Lockdowns last year thanks to COVID-19 generated another.

“There were a few guys who wanted to go through the ‘go to the bush’ lockdown. When the local agent and I met them, they set up this camp. It was really impressive. But we had to move them forward because the regional park was closed. “

After three years since her internship turned into a full-time role in her dream job, Aimee has taken another important step in her career in a new role as a community park ranger where she spends a lot of time with community groups in local parks, including educating the next generation of kaitiaki (guardians) enthusiasts.

She has a tip for anyone considering the internship, but especially for young women.

“Go for it! Anyone can be ranger. Gender doesn’t matter. In fact, I look forward to the day when more older female rangers form the next generation.”

Apply online

For anyone interested in applying to become a Summer Ranger Intern, head over to the Auckland Council Jobs website.

There are internship opportunities in Western Regional Parks, Northern Regional Parks and Southern Regional Parks.

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