Meet the volunteers: Keeping it in the family – Davina, Diane and Bob

Author: Davina BennettoDate: June 2024

My time on Tiritiri Matangi started during the pandemic when my job in the travel industry quickly went from ‘very busy’ to ‘dead quiet’. With my wonderful parents Bob and Diane already volunteering on the island, it was something I too was interested in but never had the time – oh how quickly things can change! I registered interest and soon found myself working in the shop, caught up in the magic that is our little slice of paradise, realising just how therapeutic Tiritiri Matangi was. From witnessing takahē walk into the shop to seeing a pīwakawaka flying in only to sit on a coaster with a pīwakawaka on it, things you wouldn’t experience every day, I always left the island feeling a million times better.

The island became a place of ‘time out’ and a wonderful way to spend time with my parents. As the ferry docks, Dad will take a group on a guided walk, while Mum and I open the shop. Having the time to sit and enjoy the serenity during our lunch break together is so special and I will treasure these moments forever.

Now the borders have opened and kiwis are travelling up a storm, I still make time for my special Tiritiri Matangi days to disconnect from the busyness of life and appreciate what we have in our own backyard.