Are we surprised? I don’t think so. About time isn’t it? Reflect now on the use of 1080 all over our environment including the waterways, with impunity. Do you still feel safe under their watch? EnvirowatchRangitikei
“Committed conservation workers, even if they’re highly regarded, are being pushed out, Head says, because they don’t fit the mould of the department’s new corporate ideals…”
“The desire to listen to in-house expertise is gone. It’s much more important that we write plans and waste thousands and thousands of dollars on consultants developing so-called interface plans and task assignments than actually doing the job.”
DoC’s Culture Wars Revealed
Two top scientists are lifting the lid on the Department of Conservation’s “toxic” culture. David Williams reports.
A culture war is being waged within the Department of Conservation, says a former DOC ecologist who claims he’s been hounded out of the job.
Nick Head, the 2013 winner of the prestigious Loder Cup for conservation, quit the department last month and is taking a personal grievance claim. He says there’s a corporate culture in DOC being driven by management, that seems unable to face the inconvenient truth that its core function is to advocate for conservation. Some bosses seem unwilling to fight to protect special, rare and threatened places in case it upsets “relationships”, he says. That’s causing friction with some scientific, technical and frontline staff.
“There’s a culture war and there’s a lot of discontent.”
Head’s view, which he believes is widely shared within the department, is that DOC became highly politicised because it was seen as an impediment to the previous Government’s economic growth agenda. Some DOC staff became afraid to speak out or take a strong line.
“…the country’s rare flora and fauna are on the brink of a raft of extinctions, much of it down to DOC’s ineptitude…”
Committed conservation workers, even if they’re highly regarded, are being pushed out, Head says, because they don’t fit the mould of the department’s new corporate ideals. “They make life so difficult for them, they either leave or they find reasons to force them out.”Another Loder Cup winner, botanist Peter de Lange, left the department, disillusioned, in August last year, after being diagnosed with chronic stress. He thinks the department has lost its way, and that the country’s rare flora and fauna are on the brink of a raft of extinctions, much of it down to DOC’s ineptitude. He should know – De Lange was instrumental in developing the country’s threat classification system used since 2001.
“… the department has lost its way…”
Loder Cup winner, botanist Peter de Lange