Jobs at DOC: Dene Robinson, Administration Director

Department of Conservation —  10/10/2014

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 Dene Robinson, DOC’s Administration Director in Wellington.

I'm on the Heaphy Track (centre) with Dean Van Meirlo (right) and Phil Rutherford (left).

On the Heaphy Track (centre) with Dean Van Meirlo (right)
and Phil Rutherford (left)

At work

Some things I do in my job include:

Leading a dedicated and highly experienced group of eight administration managers and 90 administration officers across 54 DOC office locations.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Delivering efficient and effective administrative services that supports conservation growth i.e. supporting our rangers to do more conservation on the ground.

Undertaking Ōkārito brown kiwi/rowi recovery work on Motuara Island.

Ōkārito brown kiwi/rowi recovery work on Motuara Island

The best bit about my job is:

Working with a hugely experienced and dedicated administration team.

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

This is my second stint at DOC. Previously I was Business Services Manager on the West Coast, based in Hokitika from 1998-2001.

A wow moment for me back then was being in Karamea, at the Oparara Arch, where I got to see whio for the first time.

I rejoined DOC in September 2013, based in Hokitika as Administration Manager, and was lucky enough in December 2013 to find myself back at the Oparara Arch, where I again observed whio—very awesome!

Oparara Arch. Photo: Trevor Dennis | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Oparara Arch, Kahurangi National Park

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is:

Again, from my West Coast days, I was always amazed by the Statutory Land Management (SLM) knowledge the now retired Ian Gilbertson carried around in his head. His keen sense of humour and pragmatic approach to life in DOC always encouraged me.

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I have been a sworn in as Coroner and Justice of the Peace… for the Ross Sea Dependency.

Mount Erebus.

Mount Erebus, taken while I was Manager at Scott Base

If I could trade places with any other person for a week it would be:

Phil Jackson, Head Coach of  the Chicago Bull’s NBA Basketball Team (1991-1998), on any of the weeks when the Bulls won one of their six NBA titles.

My best ever holidays have been at:

Lake Kaniere, near Hokitika, tucked in the foothills of the South Alps—magically warm water in the summer months and beautiful scenery.

Lake Kaniere.

Lake Kaniere

My greatest sporting moment was:

Representing New Zealand Basketball, in 2011 and 2012, as part of the coaching staff for the under 18 men’s team.

The under 18 New Zealand men's basketball team.

Coaching the under 18 New Zealand men’s basketball team

If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be:

A tūī. Playful, fun, intelligent—I love them. And I’m amazed to see how prolific they are in Wellington since I moved here in March this year.

Tui feeding, Wellington. Photo: Michael Hamilton | digitaltrails | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Tui feeding, Wellington Botanic Gardens

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

“Keep it simple.”

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

Take each day as it comes.

In work and life I am motivated by:

Good people doing good things—at DOC this is the default setting.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

We all need to be involved.

Sunrise over Okarito. Photo: WhatsAllThisThen | flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I spent 12 months living at Okarito prior to rejoining DOC in September 2013

Question of the week…

What are three of your favourite words?

Howdy—I always wanted to be a cowboy and I imagine this is a favourite saying for cowboys (i.e. Woody from Toy Story: Howdy Partner);

Serenity—my daily aspiration is to achieve serenity; and

Kia ora—a wise te reo advisor recommends this as a default response if other te reo greetings escape from memory at any given moment.

2 responses to Jobs at DOC: Dene Robinson, Administration Director


    Awesome article. Really nice pictures. Job well done.