24 Nov 2013

Worries that too much could be asked of DoC volunteers

3:29 pm on 24 November 2013

Some people involved in conservation work fear a restructuring of the Department of Conservation will put too much of a burden on volunteer groups.

DoC has been restructured with the aim of making it more efficient and strengthening partnerships with the community and the private sector.

Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage says that under the new structure DoC is expecting 60% of conservation work to be done by the community.

She says volunteers are already stretched and don't have the expertise to do specialist work with threatened species.

However, DoC director-general Lou Sanson says there is a huge desire in the community to help with conservation work and it makes sense for the department and volunteer groups to work in co-operation.

Labour conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says commercial interests are now able to influence DoC's priorities

But Mr Sanson says DoC has principles in place to ensure any arrangements are transparent, and it can contest any controversial proposals.