DoC cuts mean fewer specialists

By Geoff Cumming

Photo / Michael Cunningham
Photo / Michael Cunningham

Some of the Department of Conservation's most valued staff have become endangered species under the state agency's radical reorganisation to combat lack of money.

DoC announced this week that it would have 72 fewer positions in its new split structure - one division providing core services and the other focused on corporate fundraising and community liaison. The cuts are about half the number indicated before the Government eased back on planned Budget cuts.

But DoC is proceeding with its biggest restructuring in 20 years and how many staff will survive remains unclear. The reorganisation removes a tier of staff including area managers and project managers who combine hands-on work with managerial and community liaison. The number of equivalent positions in the new structure falls from 245 to 125.

Many face stepping down to senior ranger roles if they want to stay on. Many biodiversity programme manager jobs go, while the managers of the kakapo and takahe recovery projects face a scrap for one position.

Other specialised roles will be picked up by multi-purpose teams.

The new structure is designed to better fit DoC's growing reliance on the corporate sector to fund programmes and the volunteer sector to undertake work such as pest and weed control.

- NZ Herald

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