Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, April 26th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, Conservation, disaster - Tags: cave creek, deregulation, DoC, financial crisis, leaky homes, pike river
Time after time after time we have seen variations on the same theme – without competent regulation things go wrong. It doesn’t matter whether the lack of regulation comes about as a result of specific policy decisions or of lack of resources to do a job properly, the end result is the same, an increased probability of disaster.
Take the global financial crisis caused by the consequences of the deregulation of the financial sector (explained here by Elizabeth Warren). Take the leaky homes crisis brought to us by a National government’s deregulation of the building industry. Take our failed and extortionate electricity “market”, brought to us by a National government’s deregulation of the electricity industry. Take the under-resourcing that leads to a lack of effective oversight and gave us (in various contexts) disasters at Cave Creek, the Pike River Mine, and the CTV building in Christchurch.
And still the lesson isn’t learned – this time it will be fine, right? The Nats are cutting DOC to the bone:
DoC staff worried cuts may lead to another disaster
A leaked document from the Department of Conservation shows staff are worried restructuring and job losses could lead to another disaster like Cave Creek.
Thirteen teenagers and one DoC staff member were killed when a DoC viewing platform at Cave Creek near Punakaiki on the West Coast collapsed in 1995.
The department says it has received more than 1000 submissions from staff about its plan to restructure, cut 140 jobs and merge its 11 conservancies into six to meet an $8.7 million savings target.
A report obtained by Radio New Zealand sent from DoC’s head office to staff says in those submissions a large number of staff raised concerns about the proposals.
It says the biggest worry is there will not be clear accountability under the new model that could lead to another Cave Creek.
However, the report says a huge amount has changed since that disaster and lessons about accountability will not be lost.
DOC staff have given their warning. (The outgoing DOC Director General – hmmmm – will be behind the reassuring official position of the report, but he isn’t going to be there to see it through is he.) Labour and the Greens have given their warnings. All of which will go unheeded by the Nats. And one day these cuts could kill.