19 Apr 2024

Department of Conservation closing Dunedin centre, but no jobs lost

1:56 pm on 19 April 2024
Department of Conservation (DOC) Dunedin Visitor Centre

The visitor centre will close in June. Photo: Supplied / Google Maps

The Department of Conservation is closing its Dunedin visitor centre, but says it will not mean staff cuts.

The CBD site, located alongside the Dunedin City Council's iSite, will close by the end of June. It opened in 2015.

DOC Southern South Island operations director Aaron Fleming said their lease was expiring, so it was the right time to reassess how the department could best serve the area.

Visitor habits were changing and DOC needed to adapt in a financially sustainable way, he said.

"People interact with DOC in a variety of ways to find DOC information and services about wildlife, tracks and huts and we need to think differently about how to best reach people at major urban areas with the outdoor visitor information and services they need," he said.

"Dunedin is a wildlife hot spot and we've partnered with the Dunedin City Council over the years to develop the Wildlife Care Code, which will continue to be delivered at the isite, while DOC will focus on wildlife education in the community in other ways."

Their staff would focus on advocacy and conservation instead and there would not be a reduction in numbers, Fleming said.

"We'll continue to have a presence in the coastal Otago region to give information, advice, and education on how to enjoy and share our wild spaces, heritage locations and recreation places safely and enjoyably."

The Dunedin City Council's iSite will continue to share visitor information including wildlife advocacy while information about the region's wildlife, tracks and hut can be found on the DOC website.

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