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 DOC ranger Andrew Blanshard, based in the Bay of Islands.
Some things I do in my job include… I’m an archaeologist, historic assets project manager, boat skipper/manager, rodent dog handler, as well as looking after GIS, island biosecurity, rural fire and marine mammal disentanglement.
This helps achieve DOC’s vision by helping to protect our historic heritage so that it will still be there for the next generation to appreciate and learn from. I help to keep our islands and special places pest free so that our unique wildlife can flourish.
The best bit about my job is managing, protecting and promoting some of the country’s most significant historic and archaeological sites. Also, working with my rodent dog on offshore islands with only the birds for company and getting out on the beautiful waters of Pewhairangi (Bay of Islands).
The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is…It’s hard to narrow down to one. They include seeing the Cape Brett Lighthouse with her new coat of paint; finding the remains of New Zealand’s first Government house at Okiato; helping excavate New Zealand’s first school at Marsden Cross; spending 12 days on Kapiti with my Rodent Dog ‘Tike’ and getting to know this wonderful Island a bit better.
On a personal note
If I could trade places with any other person for a week it would be a crewman on Captain Cook’s voyages. I would love to see what the Pacific looked like before European Influences.
My best ever holiday was a working holiday sailing to 80 degrees north above Svalbard (Norway).
In my spare time I am involved in ongoing archaeological projects in Mongolia and Colorado.
If I wasn’t working at DOC, I’d like to be floating around the Pacific on a boat or being a ski bum…
Before working at DOC I was an archaeologist, driving instructor, kitchen designer and salesman.
Deep and meaningful
My favourite quote is “Give out, don’t give up!”
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is You have two ears and one mouth therefore listen twice as much as you talk!! (a hard one for me!!)
In work and life I am motivated by sharing my passion for Aotearoa/New Zealand’s unique and varied history.
My conservation advice to New Zealanders is before going on an OE, make sure you have seen the beauties of your own country! Once you realise how special it is, GET INVOLVED with one of the brilliant conservation focused community groups/projects that we are lucky enough to have in abundance.
Question of the week…
What was your favourite childhood toy and do you still have it?
A little Snoopy stuffed toy, which yes, is still with me in the garage.