The National Government’s underfunding of the Department of Conservation (DOC) could be responsible for another endangered species – the DOC ranger.
“According to numbers supplied to MPs, in June 2015 there were 814 full-time DOC rangers, while in May 2016, there were 625. At this rate of decline, by Christmas 2019, DOC rangers will be extinct,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“One hundred and forty-two species have slid closer to extinction under National’s watch; DOC rangers could be next.
“Rangers are at the front of conservation work. They carry out important pest control, species protection and other key roles.
“DOC has been continually underfunded by the National Government since it took office. On average $55 million is missing from DOC’s budget each year, compared to the last Labour Government budget,” said Mr Shaw.