Jobs at DOC: Doug Taucher, Biodiversity Ranger

Department of Conservation —  27/01/2017

Te Kuiti Biodiversity Ranger Doug Taucher retires on Monday. Read some of Doug’s recollections from his 43 years as a ranger.

At work

Doug Taucher controlling wallabies.

Wallaby control

How long have you been a ranger?

I was part of the class of 1974 at Golden Downs Woodsman Training School, where I worked and trained for two years before my third year placement at Santoff Forest near Bulls.

I quickly decided that silviculture wasn’t for me. After my placement I transferred into Environmental Forestry, predominantly undertaking pest control activities.

In 1987 the Forest Service became part of DOC, and so did I.

On the day I finish (officially Monday) I will have been a ranger for 43 years. Exactly.

Some things I do in my current job?

Fire control including training, fencing, CLE (compliance and law enforcement), freshwater fish monitoring, marine mammal monitoring, and helping with goat control operations.

How does this help achieve DOC’s vision?

Helping to create functioning ecosystems, and ensuring respect for Conservation Law.

Doug Taucher during his goat control days.

Back in my goat control days

What have been the highlights of your job?

There have been a few, but a couple of events stick out in my mind.

We once had a report of some rimu that had been felled in Pureora, and we went to visit the adjoining neighbour. We arrived just as the bulldozer was pulling the said rimu across the park boundary and onto the neighbour’s land. We recovered the rimu, and seized the bulldozer. Bad day for the neighbour, and a great day for us.

Fire work, the fire in Arthur’s Pass in 2001 (at the time the most expensive fire ever to be extinguished in the area), and my overseas deployment to Victoria, Australia in 2014.

On a personal note

15 minutes of fame…

I appeared in an episode of Country Calendar in 1981 about goat control on Mount Pirongia.

Retirement resolutions…

I have no outstanding projects to do, and we’re moving away. So the things I should be doing on my house are going to be someone else’s problem after the sale.

The only resolution I have is to get in my bus and visit all the places I haven’t seen in 40 years – and all the places I haven’t seen at all.

My happy place is…

On the beach. Can’t wait to be living there full-time.

In my spare time…

I am a hunter/gatherer/fisher/gardener. Hopefully there will be time to indulge these passions in between meeting my retirement resolution.

Deep and meaningful

My secret (not so secret) indulgence is…


What’s the one thing you would have liked to have done?

It’s not the time for regrets, but I wish I’d been able to work on Raoul Island.

I wanted to go, but in those days, only single men could work on the Island and I was getting married during the time I was supposed to be away, so I couldn’t go.

After that I was married, so I couldn’t go. By the time they let woman and married men go to Raoul my circumstances had changed, and I missed that opportunity.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is…

DOC cannot do this alone, so I encourage everyone in New Zealand to take part in some project or activity that will help conservation.

Keep this country the way we know it – paradise.

Doug Taucher and a gannett.

On a lonely beach


One response to Jobs at DOC: Doug Taucher, Biodiversity Ranger

    Sandra Goodwin 01/02/2017 at 8:42 am

    Good luck in your retirement Doug. Happy wandering about New Zealand.