DOC heading for breakdown: a letter to Nick Smith
Good Afternoon to the Hon. Dr Nick Smith,
How do you place a price on lives that have been saved from tragedy Dr Smith?
By taking away the “seat belts in the conservation estate vehicle“. The area and programme managers are the “seatbelts”. The steering wheel may be your mandate, your perception of the “best interests of voting conservation public”. The tyres and chassis may be the front line rangers and volunteers. The sponsoring commercial enterprises may be the modifications and logos, New Zealanders as a whole may be the engine and fuel. But the Area and Programme Managers are your safety, your GPS, your computer, the brain, they manage it, because they KNOW it, they are current and vital, with their intellectual wealth, wisdom and intrinsic passion to protect, they have helped to saved lives, of all who use, share and live within our conservation estate.
Cave Creek 1995 was a tragedy. With a direct increase in accountability, planning and staffing and “putting the right people in the right places”, thankfully a similar tragedy has not re-occurred. Our conservation estate has been consistently and proudly maintained, and this should appeal to the business minded National Party, resulting in developing one of the most success and recognisable brands in New Zealand which was proudly synonymous with integrity.
Please Dr Smith, see sense in recognising there can be no short term focus when it comes to protecting our environment, if you “take your eye of the ball”, if you remove the managers who are your eyes, your seatbelts, the wisdom, the knowledge and passion, you are taking as much risk with our future as hitting the highway with no seatbelt. The odds may say our journey will be uneventful, but are you ensuring we are prepared for if it is not?