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Conservation suffers as DOC cutting season continues

Conservation suffers as DOC cutting season continues

Today’s announcement by the Department of Conservation (DOC) finalising the restructure, and loss of 72 jobs, is bad for conservation, said the Green Party.

DOC today announced the final details on the restructure. Seventy two jobs will be lost. The proposed new structure splits the department into a “partnership” arm and a conservation “services” arm.

“This model will leave DOC conflicted; one part will be trying to exploit our public conservation land while the other is trying to protect it,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“DOC’s primary responsibility is preserving and protecting our treasured places, yet the original restructuring documents barely mention biodiversity.

“Splitting DOC into a commercial and community ‘partnership’ arm and a conservation ‘services’ arm means fewer resources focused on conservation of our protected areas. It also risks a silo mentality and fragmentation of conservation work.

“The Cooper report, released last week, highlights that the new structure risks the muddled reporting and management systems which contributed to the Cave Creek platform collapse.

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

“We need to fund DOC properly so that we can protect the treasured places and endangered species that New Zealanders love.

“A 2012 survey of New Zealanders’ perceptions towards conservation showed that New Zealanders support more funding for conservation,” said Ms Sage.

ENDS

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