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 Alice Hosted, Partnerships Ranger in Kerikeri.
Some things I do in my job include:
I am part of the Far North District Partnerships team. Our team has a fantastic breadth of skills which, hopefully, I am contributing to!
My main area of work is around statutory requirements. I am also involved with community groups—helping to identify opportunities, making sure they feel supported, and being a ‘key contact’ on DOC’s behalf.
This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:
Making sure that environmental values are advocated for at a district level, growing conservation done by others, and helping people to realise their connection with, and the importance of, conservation.
The best bit about my job is:
I love the variety! I have just recently finished university (Bachelors of Environmental Management and Planning with honours) and had not really been considering DOC as an option—purely through lack of awareness of the opportunities available. I thought I was destined to become a consent processor chained to my desk with limited variety.
The best bit about my current role is that I get to use all aspects of my degree, get out and about to some fantastic places, use other skills that I have gained throughout life, be surrounded by inspiring people and no day is ever the same.
A couple of weeks ago I spent one day in a meeting with lawyers in an Auckland high-rise and the next day up to my pits in mud looking at some endangered species.
The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is:
I attempted to help rebuild a section of track after ‘the big storm’ (which turned out to be only one of the big storms) and realised just how hard our DOC service team work!
By the time they had built an entire new section of track, I had managed to nail in six track markers, probably solidifying any stereotypes that might exist about my fellow office rangers!
My scariest DOC moment was:
Packing up my whole life and moving to the Far North for this job, after having lived in Christchurch for 23 of my 27 years.
The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is:
I have only been with the Department for six months and have met many inspiring people! Instead of picking out one, I would like to use this space to thank all have helped me to make such an easy transition. Namely the team here in the Bay of Islands, but additionally those who have gone the extra mile to help me out.
On a personal note
Most people don’t know that I:
Don’t have any big toe toenails. Years of trail running have killed all my nerve endings and they just keep falling off. I just paint the skin to make it look like I still have them.
The song that always cheers me up is:
It doesn’t sound that cheerful, but ‘Wasting My Young Years’ by London Grammar—it’s like a reverse psychology thing and reminds me to make the most of it. Mainly it’s just a really nice song.
My happy place is:
Running on an awesome trail, with the sun filtering through and my wee pup, Mila, chugging on beside me.
My best ever holiday was:
They weren’t my favourite at the time, but now that I look back on it family holidays tramping around New Zealand were pretty awesome and I really appreciate that my parents made the effort to get us out there. These memories and experiences have certainly helped to shape my life!
More recently though, I spent some time in Cambodia and Laos with some really close friends from high school; biking, exploring swimming, shopping, eating, eating and drinking so many coconuts, such fun!
My greatest sporting moment was when:
Finishing the Motatapu Adventure Run. 49 kilometres of what I would call mountain running. The toughest run I have done to date but such an epic experience!
Deep and meaningful
My favourite quote is:
A whakataukī that I have just recently heard but really encapsulates my world view is “Toitu te whenua, whatungarongaro te tangata—the land is permanent, man disappears”.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:
I know I have been given plenty of gems over the years, but couldn’t think of the perfect piece to pass on, so I Googled ‘examples of life advice’, the first tip that came up was ‘don’t seek advice from the internet’… I think that’s pretty good advice!
In work and life I am motivated by:
The excitement of new experiences.
My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:
Every little bit counts. I guess it’s the same principle as death by 1000 cuts but in reverse?
Question of the week
If you had the ability to turn into either a bird or a fish, which would you choose and why?
I would definitely prefer to be a bird. Being able to fly would be so convenient, plus you would get your exercise in at the same time as travel…the views would be pretty awesome as well.
If I could be any bird (past or present), I would be a huia. They are pretty neat looking!