Jobs at DOC: Michael Paviour, Partnerships Ranger

Department of Conservation —  04/09/2015

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 Michael Paviour, Partnerships Ranger in Hamilton.

Partnerships Ranger, Michael Paviour, steering a boat out on a lake.

The commute

At work…

Some things I do in my job include:

I’m currently leading the Living Water work at the Waikato Peat Lakes. My work focuses around improving the freshwater quality and biodiversity at our sites, working alongside iwi, landholders, Fonterra and the community.

I have also ended up with some tricky and unusual missions, like trying to restore a cemetery, managing remote dotterel sites and working with a range of community groups, schools and the Department of Corrections.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Working with others to help us do our conservation work. This is something that we have always done to achieve more with less.

I think DOC rangers are really skilled at working out the best way to do things for the least cost and finding different ways to achieve a goal.

The best bit about my job is:

A mixture of getting stuff done, working with lots of people and groups, and doing meaningful work. I could go on and on and on.

DOC botanists identifying plants at a Waikato wetland.

Out with some DOC botanists

The strangest and scariest DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

Being the first on the scene after a car transporter, with five 4WDs on the back, had gone into the Waioweka Gorge was a memorable one.

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

There are so many great rangers out there!

I remember, when I was a Trainee Ranger many moons ago, I had a summer placement in Kerikeri. I was thrust upon an awesome biodiversity ranger (poor guy). Before I knew it I was up in the forest in a half made hut, feeding kōkako chicks in a bush aviary using puppets through one way glass.

He showed me the commitment, work ethic, ingenuity, skills and passion required to be a DOC ranger. He was also extremely kind to me outside of work. I was staying in a small one person hut in a park and he often invited me over for dinner and to watch the rugby, much more often than he needed to. It has always left a real impression on me. Also, because he walked the talk outside of work (like many DOC people do). So sorry to embarrass you Steve Mcmanus.

Michael Paviour and Tim Brandenburg, Fonterra’s North Island Project Manager for Living Water

Having a yarn with Tim Brandenburg, Fonterra’s Living Water Project Manager.

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that I:

Used to do VIP security at Big Day Out.

The song that always cheers me up is:

Love Will Tear us Apart by Joy Division.

My happy place is:

Anywhere with my dogs.

Michael Paviour's two dogs and a taxidermy cat.

Feral cat training for my dogs

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

A taniwha, looking for chances to drag polluters into the river.

My secret indulgence is:

Dressing up as a taniwha.

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

I am trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

Michael Paviour laying traps on the beach at Aotea.

Laying out traps at Aotea

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


In work and life I am motivated by:

My grandmother’s memory. She was a fantastic woman who taught me about conservation and appreciating the natural world from the very start.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Stop talking about how much conservation areas matter to you and get amongst it.

One response to Jobs at DOC: Michael Paviour, Partnerships Ranger


    Practical, passionate, pragmatic and positive – we love working with you Mike! National Wetland Trust.