Jobs at DOC: DOC’s Sustainability team

Department of Conservation —  08/08/2011

Every Monday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.

This week we look at DOC’s sustainability team:

Helen Ough Dealy

Helen Ough Dealy: Sustainability Advisor (part-time)

Kirsten Haupt: Sustainability Project Facilitator

Peter Noble: Manager, National Shared Services

At work

What kind of things do you do in your roles? 

Kirsten Haupt

Helen: I am DOC’s very own Babel Fish. I translate then link sustainability information to DOC staff and vice versa.

Kirsten: Providing project management support for renewable installations, particularly on DOC islands – dealing with the paperwork while the local guys get on with the job. 

What is the best part about your job?

Helen: Connecting people with the information/resources they need to do their job more sustainably.

Peter Noble

Kirsten: Helping to upgrade old infrastructure on DOC islands (and reducing maintenance costs) and increasing their resilience to future fuel increases – leaving them better off in the long run. 

What is the hardest part about your job?

Helen: Keeping up with the continually changing and developing nature of sustainability.

Kirsten: Juggling several large projects while keeping up with all the other sustainability things that come my way. 

What led you to your role in DOC?

Helen: I put my hand up and said, “Pick me!”

Kirsten: Right place, right time and a willingness to take on a challenge.

Kirsten with Rene Duindam and Erica Doust promoting DOC's National Office Work Place Travel Plan

What was the highlight of your month just gone?

Helen: Seeing the intranet frontpage story, about the installation of skylights in various DOC buildings across the country, go live and to receive a comment about it in Maori, which I understood!

Kirsten: Two things – having the contract for the Great Barrier Island renewable system signed and releasing the request for tender document for the Raoul renewable system. 

The rule of 3… 

Three loves

  1. People who care and use commonsense (Kirsten)
  2. People who recycle (Helen)
  3. People taking public transport (Peter)

Three pet peeves

  1. People who just don’t care (Kirsten)
  2. People who don’t recycle (Helen)
  3. People driving large cars (Peter)

Three foods

  1. Anything homegrown really, and cheese (Kirsten)
  2. Carrots grown in the Russell Community Gardens (Helen)
  3. Potatoes from the Community Garden at the bottom of our section (Peter)

Three favourite places in New Zealand

  1. The bush: Dirt underfoot, trees above, birds around, and a cosy hut waiting at the end of the day (Kirsten)
  2. The Strand, Russell, Bay of Islands (Helen)
  3. Playing with my kids in our community garden – just magic (Peter)

Favourite movie, album, book

If Helen could be one of NZ's native species for a day she would be a North Island weka


Peter: Movie: Chariots of Fire – I love the 100m running scene near the end.

Kirsten: I can’t choose just one. I love movies and the places they take me (the reason why I can’t watch horrors and really stupid entertainment). I do like my Sci-fi. 


Kirsten: Again, difficult to pick one. I think I see music like a soundtrack to life – there is always the right song for the right situation.


Peter: Not really one, but I love my Kindle e-reader. 

Deep and meaningful… 

What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?

Helen: Keep asking questions and never assume something can’t be done. The only sure thing is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

If Peter could be one of NZ's native species for a day he would be a kakapo

Peter: TINA: There Is No Alternative – if people say that they are generally wrong.

Kirsten: The world is your oyster – discover what YOU really want and just do it.

Who or what inspires you and why?

Helen: Kathryn Maxwell (ex-Sustainability Manager, DOC) who wouldn’t accept ‘No’, or ‘It can’t be done.’

Kirsten: Certainly the above and people who know what they want and just get on and do it.  

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Peter: A bus driver, I still may do that one day.

Kirsten: Be able to talk to animals.

And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?

If Kirsten could be one of NZ's native species for a day she would be a little blue penuin

Helen: A conservation volunteer.

Peter: Stay-home dad looking after our kids… or the Prime Minister.

Kirsten: Running a little farm, making chutneys, jams, bread and cheese.

If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?

Helen: The North Island weka – cheeky, inquisitive, determined, a survivor – just like DOC.

Peter: Kakapo – A project team I worked with recently gave me the nickname “Kakapo”, so it seems appropriate.

Kirsten: Little blue penguin – simply adorable, but possessing ninja powers.