Jobs at DOC: Peter Hiemstra, Geospatial Business Analyst

Department of Conservation —  22/01/2016

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 Peter Hiemstra, Geospatial Business Analyst in National Office.

At work

Peter Hiemstra.

Peter Hiemstra

Some things I do in my job include:

My role is currently divided between business analysis and my usual technical work in the geospatial space. The Geospatial Team’s work is spread across all business functions throughout the country and the vast majority of what DOC does has a spatial component. I essentially help clients understand their spatial requirements and translate these into a suitable technical solution.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Enabling our staff and the public to engage with DOC’s spatial data in meaningful and productive ways.

The best bit about my job is:

Seeing the benefits of our geospatial work throughout the Department, and feeling like I’ve contributed in some way to conserving New Zealand’s natural heritage most days.

Peter beside a marine iguana on a beach in Galápagos

With an ‘imp of darkness’ (Darwin’s words) aka marine iguana in Galápagos

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I grew up speaking three languages, although my Frisian is ‘net sa goed’ as my Dutch. Frysk (West Frisian) is spoken by about 500,000 people in the province of Friesland (roughly the size of the Auckland region) and is one of the languages that English originated from. A rhyme illustrating some of the similarities between the two languages is “Rye bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries”, which sounds similar to “Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk”.

My happy place is:

Anywhere outdoors, preferably out in the wild, come rain (usually) or shine.

Peter at Gouland Downs Hut on the Heaphy Track .

At Gouland Downs Hut on the Heaphy Track


Peter in a canoe on the Whanganui River Journey.

Whanganui River Journey


Peter at the Great Walks Street View imagery launch.

At the Great Walks Street View imagery launch

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.” ― Matsuo Bashō.

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

“Beware of the roads in Central America”. I bought a car in LA with this in mind and became an expert pot-hole dodger. Thankfully I only drove off the road twice during the six months I was there.

Peter photographing caimans in Brazil.

Photographing wildlife (caimans in this case), is a passion of mine

In work and life I am motivated by:

Doing my bit for the planet while exploring as much of it as I can; good wine and good times.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Try not to break things more than they already are, and get amongst it by lending a hand where you can.

One response to Jobs at DOC: Peter Hiemstra, Geospatial Business Analyst


    Sounds like a pretty awesome job to me!