Graduate Profile

Emma Doel - Husbandry Officer, Kiwi North
Allie Fry (Employer), and Emma Doel

Allie Fry (Employer), and Emma Doel

Emma Doel - Biodiversity Management

Husbandry Officer, Kiwi North

“The best part of the course was getting out and meeting people in the industry with initiatives like Project Island Song and Landcare groups. I had contact here at Kiwi North with my work placement for my practicum, and the natural fit of my passion and skills led to this part time work when I finished my degree in 2016.”

“Public speaking is one of the most relevant course skills that I apply here. For a major assessment presentation we had to put information across in an interesting and accurate way. The course also kept us up to date with current Northland conservation projects like the 1000 kiwi now living around Whangarei Heads due to a 30 year community and DOC initiative, and Golden Bay Cement’s environmental impact awareness monitoring project.”

“I love all aspects of my job here as part time Husbandry Officer. I take care of the tuatara, geckos and kiwi - including breeding insects for their food supply. The basic biology we learnt on our course is generic but each of our native species has their own adaptations. I also love the visitor host role here giving presentations on either New Zealand ecology in general, or kiwi in particular, depending on the group. I take visitors through the centre here, and get school groups involved out hunting for insects.”

“My confidence has grown hugely since working here so I now really enjoy talking to a whole range of different people. I like the environmental advocacy so much that my next step may be in teaching in either community, school or tertiary education contexts.”


Employer of Emma Doel

Allie Fry - Director of Operations at Kiwi North

“Emma did her practicum for her environmental science course here, and although we’ve had NorthTec students doing practicum before, she is the first student we’ve gone on to employ. Her role is as part time Husbandry Officer so she is involved in caring for our native captive species including kiwi, tuatara and gecko, as well as being a visitor host for our huge range of visitors.”

“We have a strong link with one of the course tutors and he recommends some students, while others find their way here. They have a fantastic awareness of the natural environment and we always need students in our busy times which coincide with school holidays.”

“The most consistent asset of the NorthTec students is their passion for flora and fauna and their very current academic knowledge. We’ve just got a microscope to test kiwi faecal and blood samples for mammal parasites for example, and Emma is already up with current microscope use. They also bring a fresh set of eyes so we learn a lot from them.”

“They learn a huge amount here too about the specialized care needed for our native captive species. This involves protocols around husbandry and codes of best practice that come with us having Zoological and Aquarium Accreditation (ZAA).”

“Working here gives the students an opportunity to define their own pathway and to develop advocacy skills. The role of visitor host is all about sparking the questions and advocating environmental awareness in our national and international visitors – including education groups.”

“The kiwi house is a magnet for visitors and the kiwi is in effect our country’s international dollar. We’re our own entity here linking New Zealand social and natural history, past and present, and we are administered by the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Trust.”


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