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Call for public release of DoC staff cuts report

22nd April 2008


Greens call for public release of DoC staff cuts report

The Green Party is calling on the Department of Conservation to release the draft report which reportedly claims that 56 staff, including their marine conservation unit, are at risk of losing their jobs to meet a budget shortfall.

"The public must know why the only publicly funded department with a mandate to protect our unique wildlife, such as the critically endangered Maui's dolphin, is about to make massive staffing cuts," Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"This review is obviously and simply an attempt to shave $8 million off spending because DoC is required to do a job that is bigger than their meagre budget allows.

"The Maui's dolphin is about to blink out of existence because of the powerful fishing lobby's deep pockets; yet the marine conservation unit which researches and devises policy to protect this species is looking down the barrel of a government gun, all in the name of penny-pinching.

"I'm sure there will be interest in why these cuts are necessary while at the same time the Labour Government has several spare billions of dollars to pour into more roading and motorways.

"Both Wellington and Auckland are about to get new motorways to the tune of over $3 billion combined, which makes the $8 million that DoC is trying to recover look like a joke.

"But no-one will be laughing when some of the most endangered species on our planet are gone forever, not even those MPs who will be able to drive on flash new motorways to the edge of the environment and take photos of places that extinct animals used to live."

ENDS

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