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Love DOC Day declared for tomorrow

10 April 2013 – Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Love DOC Day declared for tomorrow

Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking New Zealanders to show their support for the Department of Conservation on a Love DOC Day this Thursday.

Forest & Bird has asked people to visit their local Department of Conservation office this Thursday (April 11) with messages of support for a department that has been progressively undermined by the government since 2008.

Almost 1000 people have RSVPed on Forest & Bird’s ‘Love DOC’ Facebook page. Various people in at least 23 communities, from Warkworth to Invercargill, have committed to organising a ‘Love DOC’ event in their area.

“DOC is crucial to protecting this country’s clean green image and to looking after what makes New Zealand such a great place to live. New Zealanders understand that, which is why so many of them have already said they will be marking Love DOC Day with us,” Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton says.

“We have asked people to go to their local DOC office at lunch time on Thursday and place Post-It notes of support on the front of the building. People may wish to leave other tokens of their support too,” says Mike Britton.

“We’re also asking New Zealanders to post messages online.”

There will be a cake stall outside DOC’s Wellington headquarters in Manners St. All proceeds will go to DOC.

Forest & Bird is calling on the government to cancel the cuts to DOC’s staff and budget, and make sure DOC is adequately funded and staffed to care for our most precious places without relying on corporate sponsorship.

“DOC is already struggling to save our endangered species, and these cuts remove highly skilled and experienced people. They are forcing DOC to reduce frontline conservation work in favour of working with the corporate world,” Mike Britton says.

DOC announced on March 26 that it would slash another 140 jobs from its workforce in what is just the latest round of cuts. As a result the department is set to lose decades of combined experience from within its ranks.

“New Zealanders understand why DOC is so important to their lives, and their lifestyles. That’s why I’m so confident that, rain or shine, people will be out on Thursday to show their support for DOC and to tell the government to cancel the cuts,” Mike Britton says.

Forest & Bird has set up a webpage – http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/lovedoc – where people can find out more.

People will deliver their messages and tokens of support to their local DOC offices between 12-2pm on Thursday.

They will be given green ribbons to wear in support of the department’s work, if they wish.
ends

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