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

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics.

Can the two surviving Maori Party MPs (one electorate, one list) credibly work together with the old firebrand who split up the group years ago, and still hope to rekindle some of that same old magic? More>>

 

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news