MIL-OSI New Zealand: Restructure of DOC team on Chatham Island

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Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  11 June 2024

The Chatham Islands are among Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important conservation places, with unique wildlife like karure / kakaruia / Chatham Island black robin, tāiko/ Chatham Island petrel, and parea /Chatham Island wood pigeon. However, the remote location of the Chatham Islands creates challenges for DOC, both in delivering its work and ensuring the wellbeing of its team.

The operational restructure of DOC’s Chatham Island District team will merge it with the Wairarapa District Team. This change is intended to address existing issues and improve our resilience in delivering this critical conservation work.

This change is hoped to strengthen our partnerships on the islands, allowing us to work in a more integrated way with imi, iwi, and key stakeholders, and improve how we engage with and work alongside the community. It will also improve connectivity between the local team and the rest of DOC, enabling the island leadership to readily work with national experts to ensure best practice delivery of work programmes, strongly aligned with our strategies, policies, and priorities.

Instead of the 10.5 FTE (11 people) currently working in the Chatham Islands District team, there will now be 7 full time roles on island year-round under the new structure, who will share space with the Chatham Islands District Council. Office-based roles will be located off-island as part of the wider district team.

Over the busy summer months from October to April, the on-island team will be bolstered by an additional seasonal team of approximately 20 people comprised of secondments, contractors, and volunteers. While the new operating model is not being driven by funding or cost savings, this larger team of highly skilled and motivated workers on island over summer will be able to provide the best conservation outcomes we can for this unique environment, for the same level of financial investment.

DOC has worked to ensure all staff currently working in both the Chatham and Wairarapa teams have similar jobs available to them, and has engaged in discussion with stakeholders, staff who have worked on the Chatham Islands, and the Public Service Association (PSA).

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