Jobs at DOC: Senior Statutory Bodies Officer, Martin Gembitsky

Department of Conservation —  27/01/2012

Every Friday 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.

Today we profile Senior Statutory Bodies Officer Martin Gembitsky.

My wife Janine, me, and our just born grandson, Hunter

At work…

Name: Martin Gembitsky

Position: Senior Statutory Bodies Officer (Fish & Game), Policy Group, National Office.

What kind of things do you do in your role? 

I have been involved in managing the Department’s national relationship with the New Zealand Fish & Game Council since 1990. I also represent the Director-General at the New Zealand Fish & Game Council bi-monthly meetings and I liaise with CEOs and staff of the 12 regional Fish & Game Councils. There are lots of briefings and Fish & Game ministerials that I am involved with.

In my role I focus on statutory, policy, technical and relationship matters with Fish & Game, helping the national relationship with DOC to run smoothly and with the Minister and Director-General. 

In addition to my Fish & Game work, I have been responsible for organising and servicing bi-monthly NGO/DOC National Office forum meetings since 2003 . And finally,  for the last two years I have serviced the Minister of Conservation’s Loder Cup Committee and have arranged for the annual winner of the Loder Cup to be presented with it by the Minister.  

What is the best part about your job?

With some of my workmates at the Conservation Week DOC associates function, 2002

The friendships and quality working relationships I have with my colleagues in National Office, the Taupo Sports Fishery team and throughout DOC and also with Fish & Game Council colleagues.

What led you to your role in DOC?

I started in DOC when it was established in 1987, working with my then manager Marcus Simons on national freshwater fisheries matters. I came over to DOC from Internal Affairs/Wildlife Service (where I started my public service career in 1969). My career in the Wildlife Service was mainly focussed on trout hatchery management, so when the opportunity came in 1987 to have a role working on national freshwater fish matters in the newly formed DOC, it was an amazing thing.  

What was the highlight of your month just gone?

The Christmas period of course – family time, BBQs, relaxing, and sharing (with many colleagues) the wait finally over concerning the outcome from this current review on our individual situations. For me it will be finishing my career with DOC at the end of January and I will be leaving with many great memories.

The rule of three…

Three loves

  1. My home and family (my wife, my children and pets – two siamese cats, two turtles, tropical fish and my plants).
  2. Dry, calm, warm weather – great for growing my collection of pawpaws and bananas. 
  3. Playing my congas and bongo drums.

My hybrid pawpaws

Three pet peeves

  1. Wellington’s train problems. 
  2. Loud neighbours with barking dogs.
  3. The wind in Wellington. 

Three favourite foods

  1. Tomato and hot chilli sauce.
  2. Grilled lamb chops.
  3. Home-cooked stirfry with mushrooms, zucchinis and rice.

Three favourite places in New Zealand

  1. Little Barrier Island – incredible geology with razor volcanic ridges, native birds, kauri trees, and Boulder Beach.
  2. Wainuiomata valley (including Baring Head) – raised beaches, township, river and trout fishing, and the Rimutaka Forest Park.
  3. Takahe Valley, Murchison mountains – takahe and kea of course, and an incredible U-shaped glaciated valley with a lake and limestone cliffs and caves.

Favourite movie, album, book

  • Movie – Invitation to Hell –  1982  Directed by Wes Craven. It’s sort of Sci-fi, about a husband winning a deadly fight for the souls of his family.
  • Album – Supernatural – Santana (great conga playing).
  • Book – Gem of the Wanderer– Bob Maddux. It’s a rare, small book (fiction) and is Sci-fi with a hidden Christian theme.

    Playing the congas

Deep and meaningful…

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

There is a lot more to karate than you think you know, and do quit smoking.

Martin doing a karate tile breaking demo

Who or what inspires you and why?

My parents instilled deep Christian values into my upbringing. I enjoy playing percussion/conga drums to contemporary Christian music at my church.

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

A teacher of nature study.

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

A forest gecko or a green gecko – in my childhood years they were mysterious critters that I spent hours searching for, and they were so well hidden.

Martin stripping a Tarawera rainbow trout in 1984

What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation? 

Get involved in conservation – it is a very wise thing to do for the future of New Zealand.

One response to Jobs at DOC: Senior Statutory Bodies Officer, Martin Gembitsky

    Lisa Gembitsky 06/07/2012 at 6:26 pm

    my dad rules!!!