Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Conservation Minister forgetting lessons of Cave Creek

4 May 2013

Conservation Minister forgetting lessons of Cave Creek

Conservation Minister Nick Smith must remember the lessons of Cave Creek and stop the current Department of Conservation (DOC) restructuring, the Green Party said today.

“As Conservation Minister post Cave Creek, Nick Smith oversaw a departmental re-organisation in 1996-97 which established clear lines of accountability for DOC staff. Now he is sitting on his hands while that is undone,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The Minister needs to act on the findings in the Cooper report, an independent and hard hitting review of DOC’s organisational changes, which the PSA commissioned and released yesterday.

“Serious attention needs to be paid to the increased risk of systemic failure that the Cooper report identifies.

“Nick Smith needs to answer the question posed by the report: ‘what is driving the Director-General to move at a pace that creates extreme risks?’” said Ms Sage.

The Department’s Acting Director-General is due to announce final decisions on DOC’s restructure to staff on Tuesday 7 May.

The proposed new DOC structure splits the department into a “partnership” arm and a conservation “services” arm with the loss of 80 jobs.

The Cooper report says the proposed new structure risks the muddled reporting and management systems which contributed to the Cave Creek platform collapse which killed 13 students and a DOC worker and seriously injured others.

The Cooper review says “the creation of separate parts of the organisation with conflicting purposes is a grave mistake”, “is far from best practice” and “has been tried in other organisations and proven to be dysfunctional”.

Findings of the report include:

· “Different purposes create a constant need for people to negotiate with each other to get anything done. This was the situation that existed pre Cave Creek and it creates considerable waste as well as risk.” (p14)

· “The dissolution of the concept of integrated conservation management which has been a core aspect of the success of the post Cave Creek report should be treated as a matter of concern.” (p15)

· There is no “description of how and why the existing structure is inadequate. No reasoned case is made for the need for structural change.”

· “Staff have learnt the lessons from Cave Creek and their analysis is correct. The proposed restructure does lose the lessons and increase the risk of systemic failure. Dismissing these concerns is dangerous both from a technical organisation perspective and from a leadership perspective.” (p16)

· “The question must be asked – what is driving the Director-General to move at a pace that creates extreme risks?” (p13)

“Few people are better qualified to analyse and comment on the risks of DOC’s proposed new structure than the independent report’s author Peter Cooper,” said Ms Sage.

Immediately after Cave Creek in 1996 Mr Cooper reviewed the Department of Conservation in response to the systemic issues identified by Judge Noble in the 1996 Commission of Inquiry report. Mr Cooper’s recommendations on organisational design are the basis of the department’s current structure.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news