It’s All in the Context

Federated Mountain Clubs, in its October newsletter [PDF], notes the appearance of fake Department of Conservation signs around huts at the Otago/Southland end of the country. Some have political undertones and some just prompting cheap laughs. I’m not aware of any appearing elsewhere, but FMC is keen to know if you’ve spotted any.

Josh Gale of Wilderness Magazine has since picked up the story, suggesting that at least one source of these signs is strongly suspected.

DoC comes under recurring criticism for its proliferation of signs in the back-country (more on some of the history here). In this light, I think the most amusing aspect of this whole story for me, so far, has been a particular quote of Department of Conservation Senior Media Advisor, Herb Christophers, who was reported in Wilderness to have said:

“Most people wouldn’t even read the thing because they’d think it’s just another DOC sign.”

To be fair to Herb Christophers, Josh points out that he was freestyling at the time of the interview, and also said “I’m not too worried about it, it’s just some funny way people like to express themselves”. I just think it’s a gem of a snippet to come from one of the senior people involved with DoC communications. :)

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