Jobs at DOC: Kiwi looker afterer, Blair Hoult

Department of Conservation —  16/03/2012

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 Haast Tokoeka Kiwi Team Ranger, Blair Douglas Hoult.

Catching a female kiwi up in the alpine scrub with Tuss

At work…

Position: Kiwi looker afterer

What kind of things do you do in your role?

Track down the rare New Zealand womble, drive boats, walk up hills… then down hills… then turns out it was back up the hill… up hills.

What is the best part about your job?

That my job, a lot of the time, doesn’t seem like a job… and my dog Tussock.

What is the hardest part about your job?

Driving to the Sanctuary (Haast Tokoeka Kiwi Sanctuary) when the surf’s cranking.

What led you to your role in DOC?

A bunch of randomness. I used to Chef but I chopped my finger. Instead, found the job on the net… then the next thing I know—life rules.

What was your highlight from the month just gone?

The West Coast weather.

The mouth of the Moeraki—just a walk from my house

The rule of three…

Three loves

  1. Haast
  2. Tussock the dog
  3. Flying

    My dog Tussock in the Haast Sanctuary

Three pet peeves

  1. Frozen boots
  2. Burnt toast
  3. Wet wetsuits

Three foods 

  1. Baked beans (way better than spaghetti) 
  2. A mean Sunday roast
  3. Lamb chops

Three favourite places in New Zealand

  1. Whakapohai
  2. Hot Water Beach
  3. Ohinimaka

The beautiful Haast Sanctuary—my office

Favourite movie, album, book

  1. Movie: Forrest Gump
  2. Album: Van Morrison’s Been good lately
  3. Book: Francis Chichester’s book—a good read about an amazing navigator

Deep and meaningful…

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

To be fast, first you must be slow because slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

After I'd restored Dad's microlight to its former glory

Who or what inspires you and why?

My friends because they are all different but are Oarsome and do freakin’ good things. Oh and this old couple I used to work for—they have been married for 50 years and are like a couple of teenagers!

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

I dunno, I changed my mind all the time… maybe a pilot/All Black kinda kid… I always liked the Animal connection, they smell good.

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

Hmmm ummm I reckon Dr Martin’s pretty cool.

What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?

Save DOC some money and camp when you go away… DOC has amazing camp grounds.

Which green behaviour would you like to adopt this year—at home? At work?

To make do with what I have. Fixed things are better than new things because then they are classic and classic is class.

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

A kākāpō! Turn up the boom bass!

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

Be proud of DOC… we are world leaders.

One response to Jobs at DOC: Kiwi looker afterer, Blair Hoult


    Blair you are awesome. I enjoy a light-hearted conservation dude.