DOC cuts 100 office-based jobs

The job losses will come from largely office-based support functions in its Wellington headquarters and from regional conservancy offices. Photo / Richard Robinson
The job losses will come from largely office-based support functions in its Wellington headquarters and from regional conservancy offices. Photo / Richard Robinson

More than 100 jobs are to be axed from the Department of Conservation in a move drawing outrage from the public sector union.

The Department of Conservation today told its 1800 staff it was looking to cut just over 100 jobs by the end of the year.

It said the the workers shed would mostly be office-based support people and the move was aimed at directing more resources towards field conservation work.

Those affected by the cuts would be told they were losing their job in the next three months, it said.

The PSA, which represents over 1,500 DOC members, said there had already been significant job cuts at DOC since its budget was slashed by $54 million in 2009.

National Secretary Brenda Pilott said staff would struggle to provide vital services with a reduced workforce.

"New Zealanders want their land, waters and species protected and entrust DOC with this vital task. Eroding the Department's resources will impact its ability to meet this huge responsibility.

"The government needs to invest in DOC because that's an investment in the future of our unique natural environment, the preservation of national taonga and economic benefit for New Zealanders."

Ms Pilott accused Government of of being motivated by cost-cutting rather than efficiency in shedding the jobs.

"After cutting over a billion dollars across public services from this year's budget and setting new savings targets on individual departments, the Government has turned DOC's efficiency drive into a purely cost driven exercise."

National has embarked on an effort to cut back-office public sector staff since coming to power in 2008.

It has cut nearly 2000 staff from the state sector, according to figures released in March.

Finance minister Bill English and State Services minister Tony Ryall announced proposals to shut down five crown entities and three tribunals, combine two government agencies and merge back office administrative services across three major state agencies in May.

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