Orana Wildlife Park visitor services co-ordinator Nicky Inwood is switching focus from managing volunteers to becoming one.
Rather than feeding giraffes and enthusing visitors about rare wildlife, Nicky will concentrate on her "hobby" as a top-class international women's rugby referee.
Nicky has been selected to officiate in two test matches as part of the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship in Europe.
Nicky said it was an honour to be picked to referee in such a prestigious competition.
"The International Rugby Board has an emphasis on increasing the profile of women's rugby, particularly since the game of sevens rugby will be introduced to the Olympics in 2016. Therefore, my appointment is fabulous profile for aspiring young female referees," she said.
"I will be in charge of the France versus England test match and this game is likely to decide the tournament. I will also officiate in the England versus Ireland test on St Patrick's Day which is set to be a marvellous occasion."
Nicky's motivation to referee is based on "a desire to continually improve".
"I love the game of rugby and it gives me enormous pride to represent Canterbury and New Zealand. I thrive on the constant challenges of maintaining fitness, keeping up to date on rule changes and, of course, balancing rugby and work commitments. I am fortunate to receive wonderful support from the New Zealand Rugby Union and, of course, my employer."
There are still things she wants to achieve.
"I'm yet to achieve that complete performance so I'm still fresh and excited about the challenges ahead."
Nicky has gained many significant achievements:
Earned 11 test caps as a player (front row hooker);
Refereed 21 test matches and amassed over 50 first class games as a leading whistle blower.
Been an amateur referee for more than 13 seasons.
Attended four Women's Rugby World Cups - one as a player for the Black Ferns (1991) and three tournaments (2002, 2006 and 2010) as a referee.
She was the first woman to referee a women's rugby international game in New Zealand.
She has had the honour of refereeing a women's rugby test match on the hallowed turf of Twickenham.
And she has been nominated twice as Referee of the Year at the Steinlager New Zealand Rugby Awards.
"I have a great role at Orana Wildlife Park that includes overseeing and managing the park's extensive volunteer programme; monitoring behind the scenes tours and appraising presentations to the public," Nicky said.
"It is the perfect balance for my favourite pastime."