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Sandra Lee Must Restructure DoC

Sandra Lee Must Restructure DoC

Tuesday 17th Apr 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Other

ACT Conservation Spokesman MP Gerry Eckhoff today called on Minister Sandra Lee to urgently restructure the Department of Conservation.

“The Department comprises two factions which conflict on a daily basis.

“One of DoC’s roles is to generate income for the environment. However, the Department also has the conflicting aim of trying to protect the environment from human interference. This second role has led the Department to adopt ideological reasoning at the expense of the environmental estate.

“Sandra Lee’s decision to tighten control over ‘takings’ from National Parks highlights the impossibility of DoC’s two roles.

“She has allowed millions of dollars of West Coast timber to rot on the forest floor, instead of reinvesting that money back into the environment.

“Basically, one faction of DoC is at war with the other. And that is no way to run any Government department.

“DoC is in the peculiar position of giving advice to itself. That is untenable.

“This situation is worsened by the fact that the Ministry’s attitude is becoming increasingly fundamentalist. This is personified by the appointment of Kevin Smith as ‘advisor’ to the Minister.

“Sandra Lee urgently needs to separate DoC into two entities. The advocacy role should be given to the Ministry for Environment, with clear and separate functions.

“That is the only way for this major conflict of interest to be overcome,” Gerry Eckhoff said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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