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No assessment on in-house DOC course

No assessment on in-house DOC course

National’s Conservation spokesman Simon Power is questioning the value of the Department of Conservation spending more than $600,000 on a five day marae-based course for employees that has no assessment.

That cost does not include the time of DOC employees who teach the course.

“It is not acceptable that so much taxpayer money is being spent on a five day marae-based course without any clear evidence that it is improving employee performance. "

The Te Pukenga Atawhai training programme aims to teach participants about Maori values, the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori systems and structures, and how to interact and communicate with Maori. It has been attended by almost all DOC staff.

Mr Power says taxpayers cannot currently be assured that the money is going to good use.

“Providing Maori education courses is not one of DOC's core services.

“DOC should focus its resources on its key function of managing and conserving natural and historic resources."

Below: Answers to written questions

13459 (2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
What training does the Department of Conservation provide to staff with regard to Treaty of Waitangi obligations, relationships with Maori, Kaupapa Maori, Te Reo or any other similar areas of training, listed by nature of training, purpose of training, hours spent on training, level at which training is undertaken, course materials associated with the training, provider of training and number of staff who have undertaken this training in each year 1999-2003?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Te Pukenga Atawhai is a training programme run throughout the regions. Its purpose is to enable staff to build and maintain effective working relationships with local tangata whenua, specifically, and with Maori generally. Course participants receive a training manual, “Te Kete a te Rito”, to complement the instruction given by the department’s Kaupapa Atawhai Managers. The number of participants for each training year: 1999-00:314, 2000-01:439, 2002-03: 390, 2003-04: 265. Some staff members have undertaken te reo Maori training as part of their individual professional development programmes. The training is accessed through various university, wananga or school-based courses. There is no centralised record of the numbers undertaking such training.

13501 (2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
How many hours do Department of Conservation staff spend in Te Pukenga Atawhai training?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Te Pukenga Atawhai is a five day marae-based course.

13510 2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
What are the subjects taught and areas covered within the Te Pukenga Atawhai programme?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Maori values, particularly as they relate to conservation; Treaty of Waitangi; Maori systems and structures; interacting with Maori; communication with Maori.

13512 (2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
Who does the Department of Conservation employ to train staff in the Te Pukenga Atawhai programme, and are these people permanent staff or are they hired on a contract basis and how much are they paid?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: The department’s Kaupapa Atawhai managers deliver the Pukenga Atawhai course. They are permanent staff.

13513 (2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
What assessments do staff in the Te Pukenga Atawhai Training programme have to undertake and what results are they expected to achieve in these assessments?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Formal assessments are not undertaken.

13515 (2004). Simon Power to the Minister of Conservation (15 September 2004):
How much does it cost to provide staff members of the Department of Conservation with “Te Pukenga Atawhai" training, including payment of trainers, course materials, marae or other visits, accommodation costs or any other costs associated with this training, broken down by annual cost of providing the programme and cost incurred by each individual who undergoes training?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Year Cost Cost/staff member
1999-2000 $62, 750 $199.84
2000-2001 $180, 500 $411.16
2001-2002 $160, 000 $489.29
2002-2003 $160, 000 $410.25
2003-2004 $85, 000 $320.75

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