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DOC job losses a disgrace

Simon Power - National Party Conservation Spokesman

09 February 2005

DOC job losses a disgrace

A cost-cutting exercise that caused 15% of the Department of Conservation's permanent conservation science staff to lose their jobs is a disgrace, says National's Conservation spokesman, Simon Power.

Forest and Bird reported in their February newsletter that DOC has undertaken a cost-cutting and restructuring exercise, even though its annual report stated it lacked the core capacity to properly protect the majority of our threatened native species.

"Now that it has cut 15% of its permanent science staff, there is likely to be a serious reduction in its species recovery work, putting our native species at even more risk of extinction," says Mr Power.

"DOC needs to reassure the public that this will not happen," says Mr Power.

Job-losses include scientific roles in key government conservation areas, including marine issues, seabirds and invertebrates.

"These are high priority areas of conservation, and yet there will be fewer staff to do the protection work that desperately needs to be done.

"It has taken groups like Forest and Bird, which has asked its members to send letters of protest to Helen Clark and Chris Carter, to highlight the seriousness of the issue.

"With DOC more focussed on areas such as world heritage sites, and likely to be pouring more money into them, our threatened native species are facing an uncertain future," says Mr Power.

ENDS

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