Jobs at DOC: Oliver Knox – Ranger

Department of Conservation —  28/06/2013

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Oliver Knox, Visitor and Historic Assets Ranger in the Kauri Coast Area Office.

Oliver Knox on Six Foot Track in the Waima Ranges.

Walking up the Six Foot Track towards Framptons Hut in the Waima Ranges

At work

Some things I do in my job include… track and structure maintenance and inspections, developing signage installations, contract management, fire fighting, and being part of the Strategic Iwi Group for Northland.

The best bit about my job is… working alongside the awesome and passionate people that are involved in conservation, and being able to work outdoors in the New Zealand landscape.

Oliver Knox performing music on his guitar.

Performing at the Aratapu Tavern

The awesomest DOC moment I’ve had so far is… eating fresh smoked snapper for lunch at the batch in Tom Bowling Bay on the North Cape, after spending a week doing inspections around Te Paki and the far north coastline.

The DOC employee that inspires or enthuses me most is… Tony Silbury, who was my inspiring and passionate Programme Manager at the Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre in the Wairarapa, where I spent six months doing predator control after finishing my trainee ranger internship in Gisborne.

Oliver Knox guiding a trail of children on the Maunganui Bluff Track.

Guiding a school group over the Maunganui Bluff Track

On a personal note…

My stomping ground is… Baylys Beach on Northland’s west coast—the longest driveable stretch of beach in New Zealand and home of The Funky Fish.

If I could trade places with any other person for a week famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional it would be… my friend Aaron who is now living in the Mentawai Islands running a restaurant just down the road from Macaroni’s—one of the premier surf breaks Indo has to offer.

My best holiday ever was… touring through Europe and Canada with my acoustic guitar and amp, each week performing in a different place and either couch surfing or staying with friends.

If I could be any native species I would be a… karearea, the New Zealand falcon.

Oliver Knox building box steps on the Waiotemarama loop track.

Building box steps on the Waiotemarama loop track

Deep and meaningful

My favourite quote is… ‘The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives.” Albert Einstein.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is… ‘Be true to yourself’.

In work and life I am motivated by… behaving with integrity, compassion, and bringing creativity to life.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… you can make a difference so find out where and how to get involved. Experience the outdoors and discover what New Zealand has to offer. Respect nature and clean up after yourselves.

A photo of the Waitapu Saddle countryside.

The view south looking into the Waitapu Saddle and 2kms of grass track that needed to be cut!

Question of The Week

If you could pick to stay a certain age forever what would it be… 30, because the body is still in good shape, the character has developed to where it is stable, and there is still a touch of youth. Also, at that age you are still eligible for Working Holidays overseas, so you can work and travel forever!