Department of Conservation Wakatipu area manager Greg Lind
is now Wakatipu district manager as part of national
restructuring felt in Queenstown and Glenorchy offices from
this week. Photo by James Beech.
Queenstown's potential for more
conservation-community-commercial partnerships softened the
blow of national restructuring and job cuts on its Department
of Conservation (Doc) office.
The Government expects the streamlined department in
Queenstown to form more successful partnerships in the
footsteps of the 11-year-old Queenstown Trails Trust, the
four-year-old Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group and the
19-month-old Wakatipu Heritage Trust and help them reach
their full potential.
Three operational positions, all staffed by rangers with
decades of frontline conservation experience, and one vacant
position were lost out of 26 positions and one position was
The Doc Wakatipu area office, at Arthurs Point, closed last
Friday and opened on Monday as the ''Doc Wakatipu District
Office'', with Glenorchy a ''field base''.
Staff resigned and found other employment before the
restructuring took effect on Monday.
Greg Lind said his previous role as area manager meant
increasingly he had less time to spend on operational
Now, as district manager, a role he said he wanted, he was
able to focus on public-private joint initiatives and their
His counterpart, the conservation services manager, will be
appointed in an acting or permanent capacity within the next
Queenstown was a ''fertile ground'' for more conservation
partnerships with tourism operators, he said.
''There's so much activity here and we've got some big
players who are operating on conservation land and a lot of
them are very aware of the opportunities for 'greening' their
businesses because the customer is increasingly demanding it.
''Queenstown was given a lot of consideration in terms of
those opportunities, I can assure you.''
Mr Lind said changes to the department would not be very
visible to the public and the transition among staff will
take place over three months.
However, the changes are ''reasonably significant''
internally, with the department restructured from head office
in Wellington down to community level into two streams.
''The conservancies as we've known them, Otago and Southland
etc, cease to exist in the new model,'' Mr Lind said.
There are now managers who represent the two streams within
the organisation - the partnership model and the service
model, he said.
New service director Alan Munn, based in Invercargill,
''manages essentially all of Otago and Southland, with minor
exceptions in North Otago'', while partnership manager Barry
Hanson, based in Dunedin, ''manages north of Christchurch all
the way to Stewart Island and sub-Antarctic,''Mr Lind said.