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The Government’s short-sighted determination to cut again and again into the Department of Conservation will leave it unable to take care of New Zealand’s most treasured natural environments, says Ruth Dyson.
A reported 1200 operational roles are being reviewed as DOC looks to save another $9-million a year, over and above previous restructuring which cost close to a hundred jobs.
“DOC plays an incredibly important role protecting our country’s unique landscapes, flora and fauna. But at the rate this Government is going, it won’t be able to carry out its core functions such as pest control and saving our endangered species.
“New Zealanders are proud of our environmental record and world-leading conservation efforts. All that is being put at risk by constant budget cuts. If National allows the DOC estate to be run down what sort of legacy will it leave for future generations?
“DOC is increasingly dependent on corporate sponsorship and donations. It’s becoming a charity case, and that is just not good enough.
"National is neglecting conservation and sees it as a drain on the public purse. But they are wrong - the work of the Department of Conservation in an important investment in protecting our environment and our future, says Ruth Dyson.