Doc reassessing its structure over shortcomings

Following staff criticism, a new pilot programme is about to start to try to address problems with the Department of Conservation's new structure.

An independent survey completed last year found the overwhelming majority of staff believed Doc was less efficient than before its 2013 restructure and its internal communication system was not working.

Doc director general Lou Sanson said in a report to a New Zealand Conservation Authority meeting late last year, that Doc remained committed to its new partnerships services model.

''We will make some adjustments to our internal systems to deal with issues highlighted in the review.''

The moves would not involve staff cuts, redundancies or closing any offices.

Doc deputy director general Kay Booth said in a report to an authority meeting last week a separate review conducted recently by Doc concluded people were also lacking in role clarity.

There had been ''several credible'' attempts at building role clarity but that, and communication, persisted as serious problems and efficiency was suffering, she said, ''at least in part due to the structure and the want of an audacious goal''.

Other organisational problems were contributing to the inefficiency including proliferation of a consensus culture, lack of leadership at the front line and ''customer interface'' problems, Ms Booth said.

A pilot programme was due to start in the Nelson Marlborough and West Coast region in the next few weeks, which would trial ways to improve how the partnerships and services teams worked together.

''We are fully committed to this model ... but we realise that more work is needed,'' she said in a press release.

It would look at how staff worked, considering role clarity and internal reporting.

''The pilot project will explore ways to focus our partnership staff more clearly on working with others on significant conservation initiatives, while making sure our services teams can more effectively deliver day to day conservation work.''

-rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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