News | 17 December 2021

Welly Walks: Adam's dream job in nature

Helping align Pōneke’s conservation goals with the city’s volunteer efforts is a rewarding role for Park Ranger Adam Groenewegen.

Park Ranger Adam on a sunny day, wearing his dark green uniform of shorts and t-shirt and a cap and sunglasses, posed with a leg up on a rock, holding a large black and yellow plastic container that says 'open me' in white. Surrounded with bush and blue sky above.

The father-of-two has been a Park Ranger for about 2.5 years and is responsible for Wellington’s western areas.

“A lot of my role is managing the access into our city’s parks and reserves for contractors and event organisers. A lot of general enquiries about the green spaces also come our way for us to respond to.

“The other large angle is working alongside our fantastic community groups. I enable them to operate within our reserves and do my best to align our strategic and ecological goals with theirs.

“This can be anything from planting or weeding, to trapping, and even track building. We even report back and investigate hazards in our parks.”

Adam says the diversity of the role, and how it allows him to be in nature, makes it the dream job.

“Working for Wellington City Council is great too. They are a fantastic employer, and we have a very supportive team at Parks, Sport, and Recreation – almost like family.”

But that’s not to say there aren’t challenges on the job.

“It's an ever-changing environment. There's a lot to try and understand that affects the decision-making on activities and actions taking place each day, from Management Plans for the city's parks and reserves to the Resource Management Act, and the Reserves Act, as well as understanding the array of easements and agreements across land we manage.

“To say its complex is an understatement, and I'm constantly learning. We're also a very public face for the Council so can cope a fair amount of misdirected anger sometimes.”

Before joining the Council, Adam was a team leader for the operations team at Zealandia for five years. Before that he spent a year in Nelson down at NMIT completing a level 3 certificate in conservation.

Prior to that he spent 10 years living in London, and then after meeting his partner he moved back to NZ, with an eight month stop-over in Bangladesh.

“While there I supported a Dutch NGO that works with the slums to educate people and support them into vocational training opportunities. I also volunteered at a tiger charity that my partner was working for.”

Outside of work, Adam has a “very supportive partner and two beautiful children who challenge me each and every day”.

“But they bring a lot of joy and happiness into my life. Being a dad is pretty much a full-time hobby these days, and I’ve been getting into board games over the past five years.”

Adam says one of the best things about Wellington is its diverse range of trails, and picking a favourite walk is tricky.

“I love that you can feel like you're lost in a bush walk, but you’re actually only 10 minutes from the CBD. We're very lucky to have such a green city, with such rich wildlife.”

Adam has selected the third walk for our #WellyWalks series.

CLUE: Start your walk at Fletcher’s Carpark in Johnston Hill Reserve. You’ll want to follow the Circular Loop, so you can nab yourself a bag of coffee beans from The Mini Coffee Bar.