Every Friday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.
Today we profile Ranger Cadet, Kevin Carter.
Position: Ranger Cadet
What kind of things do you do in your role?
A little bit of everything. As part of the cadetship programme I spent the first year working across all delivery programmes. There is a fantastic variety—from track maintenance through to weed control, from health and safety audits to being on the front desk, to name but a few. I’m really looking forward to working on the Haast Tokoeka team and starting my Community Relations placement!
What is the best part about your job?
Living down in the beautiful and isolated South Westland. This is a truly special part of the country. I love the vast tracks of lowland forests, the gorgeous mountains and the fantastic array of native wildlife. I love having the opportunity to contribute as much as I can and I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered many chances to do just that.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Starting from scratch every time I join a new programme. There’s a new learning curve each time and you only have a few months (sometimes a few weeks) in each to take in as much as you can. It’s a great challenge though and it means unparalleled job variety!
What was the highlight of your month just gone?
A two and a half hour whitebait compliance helicopter flight along the coast line from Fox Glacier down to the Cascade river mouth. The coastal views of bluffs, isolated beaches, rock stacks and forested hills were simply spectacular. You get an amazing perspective of the landscape.
The rule of three…
- Indian food
- Backcountry tramping
- Star gazing
Three pet peeves
- The maximum exposure time on my camera being only eight seconds
- People saying “your” when they mean “you’re”
- Facebook and Twitter logos all over the show
Three things always in your fridge
- Sour cream (gorgeous with a bag of corn chips)
- Dijonnaise mustard
- Worchestershire black sauce (best condiment out)
Three favourite places in New Zealand
Favourite movie, album, book
- Movie: Rob Roy—fantastic acting and a good story
- Album: At the moment: Gary Moore’s Back on the streets
- Book: River God by Wilbur Smith
Deep and meaningful…
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Don’t be so shy, get out there and make the most of it.
Who or what inspires you and why?
People who dedicate all their time and effort to a cause they believe in so passionately.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through many stages, beginning with a postman and including ‘Farmer Brown’ (I didn’t really consider the surname an issue). As I got older I thought about being an architect, an astronomer and even considered working in I.T.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
This is tough since working at DOC has been a long-time ambition! It would have to be an outdoors role, perhaps guiding or something in adventure tourism. Working as an astronomer would be amazing as well.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
A kea—with an impressive intellect and the ability to range from the alpine to the lowlands there’d be a stack of fun to be had. I could also join one of the ‘hoon groups‘ that maraud some towns.
What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?
That conservation is the most important work we can undertake. Healthy ecosystems are the foundation of our economy, recreation, identity and lifestyle. We rely on our natural environment and we need to be protecting it to the best of our ability. Our species and ecosystems are all interconnected and looking at the big picture of conservation is critical.