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It’s All in the Context

Federated Mountain Clubs, in its October newsletter [PDF] [1], 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 [2], 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 [3]). 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 [4] at the time of the interview, and also said [5] “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. 🙂

5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "It’s All in the Context"

#1 Comment By Wayne Clark On 12 November, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

must be a hard time to be working in DOC right now, the axe has fallen for some and about to fall for more…. even if you survive the cuts it must mean more work for already overworked staff, tand probably finding you’re achieving less as an organisation and know that you’re working for an organisation minus a lot of your mates
all this and you’re muzzled from publicly officially complaining, does beg the uestion will one doc staffer or someone close to a doc staffer have a go at the organisation.

#2 Comment By Mike McGavin On 28 November, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

Yeah I doubt it’s much fun in certain circles. I’ve just read Rob Brown’s assessment of DoC’s current Destination Management Framework in the latest FMC Bulletin, which is allegedly mostly about commercialising recreation if you believe between the lines, removing facilities which don’t fit with the framework and ignoring any sentiment that DoC should be trying to foster or encourage recreation compared with providing recreation that’s in demand. It’s not a fun read.

#3 Comment By wayne On 28 November, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

doc want to rip out half the huts in the ruahines’ who instigated that plan>? how can a conservationist defend such drastic action, , they’ve had no problems supporting all the huts or leaving them be for decades now all of a sudden its death to half of them…. its all money driven…. what did anyone expect when the govt took 50 million out of their budget, then doc start approving concessions like they had just become their life blood…. its just standard practice now, make money wherever possible….i hope people vote accordingly at the next election, i’ll never trust a national govt… they are just selling big businesses agenda….

#4 Comment By Mike McGavin On 6 December, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

“what did anyone expect when the govt took 50 million out of their budget, then doc start approving concessions like they had just become their life blood”

Legislatively DoC could have withdrawn money from its tourism-promotion budget and pushed it towards retaining and maintaining back-country facilities, because under the Conservation Act it’s meant to foster recreation, but only allow for tourism. This wouldn’t happen, though because it contradicts the non-legislative requirements being sought. Instead, DoC’s been using some very plastic techniques for deciding how it’ll carry out its recreation-fostering responsibility.

#5 Comment By Mel On 13 November, 2012 @ 11:29 am

“An un-named OUTC member”… Yeah, given that sign in the photo in particular, even *I* think I know who it is.
Bet Josh is upset that it didn’t happen while he was in OUTC, he would have loved to have been involved in such a prank. 🙂