Jobs at DOC: Chris Rendall, RMA Senior National Advisor

Department of Conservation —  10/04/2015

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 Chris Rendall, Resource Management Act (RMA) Senior National Advisor in Wellington.

At work…

Chris warming up before a dragon boat regatta in Wellington.

Dragon boat regatta warm up

Some things I do in my job include:

Developing guidance to assist rangers engaging in Resource Management Act (RMA) matters at the local level.

For example, assisting people’s queries regarding proposed water extraction and whether it is going to impact on fish populations.

I also provide ‘expert’ opinions, for example, I was the Crown’s condition expert for the Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent hearing.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Improving consistency of practices, maintaining and enhancing relationships, and assisting in the achievement of good conservation outcomes.

The best bit about my job is:

Being involved in a wide range of projects. For example, I have been working with others to review the ‘translocations/protected species movements’ process—to make the process better for all involved.

I have also worked with internal staff as well as others within the Natural Resource Sector on ways to increase consistency in effects management including subjects from Freshwater and Forestry to Vertebrate Toxic Agents.

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

Attending Te Pūkenga Atawhai at Hongoeka Marae in 2012—a great experience and I met great people.

The DOC employee that inspires or enthuses me most is:

While there are lots, one that comes to mind is Partnerships Ranger Mike Tapp—he is passionate about his role and uses his knowledge and previous work experience to achieve a lot with very little.

Chris Rendall at the Bridge to Nowhere on the Whanganui River.

The Bridge to Nowhere

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I was recently awarded the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Professionals Award, which involves me heading to Perth to receive it (which I will coordinate with taking leave and take a quick trip with my wife to India and Sri Lanka).

My happy place is:

Doing new things and seeing new places. I love snorkelling and seeing something different every time (and it’s also interesting seeing the differences in reef ecology between places e.g. Poor Knights, Lalomanu—Samoa (pre tsunami), and Koh Tao).

My best ever holiday was:

Nepal in 2000 when I went on a school trip (the teacher wanted to go, so led a trip through Himalayan Youth Adventures). It was a great experience and I went with 12 students from a variety of schools from Wellington and Auckland.

Chris Rendall dressed as Odlaw for the day during Round the Mountain relay.

Being evil Odlaw for the day during Round the Mountain relay

My greatest sporting moment was when:

I won the National Secondary Schools three kilometre race walk (a sport that I took up as it meant I didn’t have to train and could justify having time off school to hang out with my friends who were fast runners—coincidentally one of them had to retire from running and now represents New Zealand at race walking). I have also completed a half-ironman in New Plymouth.

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

A kea, I’m a bit cheeky and enjoy investigating things.

My secret indulgence is:

Semi-dried bananas, liquorice, and my wife’s cooking.

My most prized possession is:

My wife!

Chris Rendall at the entrance to Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

At the entrance to Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

One in five of us are mad (and the associated song), which is a favourite of my Dad’s—picked up while he was at Lincoln University, Canterbury.

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

The above—keeping it in mind has stopped me worrying too much about life. This motivates me to do what I can, while having a relaxed attitude and enjoying life.

In work and life I am motivated by:

Wanting to get things done. Those of you whom I have worked with, or reported to, will fondly remember my numerous useful and important emails highlighting a wide range of things that should be progressed!

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Every little bit helps! It may be a long, slow seeming, process but if you don’t start you will never finish.

Chris Rendall at Oakura, Taranaki.

Hard at work in Oakura, Taranaki

Question of the week…

Are you a Mac or a PC?

I’m a PC. Nothing flashy. Relying on brute force and ignorance (hopefully not always true, although my nickname during my masters was Wrench, and I received a certificate for being the sharpest tool in the shed).