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DOC’s priorities - $4 million on spin

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Conservation Spokesman

18 September 2008

DOC’s priorities - $4 million on spin

Papers released under the Official Information Act showing DOC established a new $4 million marketing and communications group in July this year prove that Labour’s conservation priorities are all wrong, says National’s Conservation spokesman, Nick Smith.

“It is wrong that in the past year DOC has disbanded the Marine Conservation Unit and established a new Marketing and Communications Unit. Conserving New Zealand’s huge ocean resources are far more important than polling, surveys, branding, and marketing campaigns.

“Labour has its conservation priorities all wrong when millions go to marketing and communications, while a third of tracks don’t meet department standards, pest control spending is declining in real terms, and dozens of endangered species have no recovery plan.”

The papers, obtained by Radio New Zealand, reveal a total salary budget of more than $3.5 million. Additional papers show DOC will spend at least $800,000 on operating the new unit.

“They are deluded if they think this ‘spin’ unit is building support for more funding for conservation. It is this sort of spending that undermines support for DOC’s important work.

“National will drop DOC’s rebranding projects and rethink this new Marketing and Communications Unit.

“We believe New Zealand needs the funds for real conservation work.”

Ends

Attached: OIA responses.

Marketing__Comms_OIA_Response__29Aug08.pdf
Marketing_and_Comms_OIA_Response_2__12Sept08.pdf

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