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New Zealand isn’t exactly huge. Competitively speaking, governmental responsibilities aren’t the most volatile or dramatic. But there is one relationship which grinds and grates always; the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Conservation (DOC).

I caught up with the two of their chiefs at a rare meeting…


D(ept) O(f) T(ourism): Am I late?

D(ept) O(f) C(onservation): Somewhat. Yes.

DOT: Monday Madness last night. Sorry, eh?

DOC: You look a state.

DOT: Hell Bar. 241 all night bro.

DOC: You had the energy for all that after your Tongariro Mountain Trek?

DOT: Huh? Oh, that walk thing? Nah bro. Was hungover. Sweet Sunday an’ that, eh.

DOC: Oh for goodness sake. What do we build the paths for if you’re not going to use them?

DOT: No worries bro, we’ll probably do it on Friday or something.

DOC: Yes, ‘probably’. Now, did you happen to glance at an agenda?

DOT: Nah.

DOC: Item One- A recent survey altered us to worrying levels of human erosion at the pancake rocks area. Now, we all-

DOT: -Pancake rocks? The Ledge Frisbee place?

DOC: I suppose so. But it also happens to be an unparalleled example of costal rock formation.

DOT: That’s the place! Sweet event last summer.

DOC: Last summer, in fact, was when we decided to take action. Eleven months on and we have just opened a brand new location there, featuring walkways, informative signage and trained staff.

DOT: Bar?

DOC: There will soon be a small cafe for-

DOT: -Licensed?

DOC: It is only a facility to complement the geological-

DOT: ‘The Parched Pancake’! That’d be sweet, eh bro?

DOC: Couldn’t you muster up just a morsel of gratitude for our project built for your benefit?

DOT: Yeah cheers bro. What else you got?

DOC: Item Two, actually, concerns you greatly. Abel Tasman National Park (which, if you’ve failed to notice, is a National Park) is being spoiled and ransacked by your summer hoards. Tourists are not following prescribed footpaths, disregarding tidal advice and directly disobeying clear signage.

DOT: Nobody wants to follow a path. What’s the point? People come to New Zealand for the adventure, eh?

DOC: Quite so, they do. But we picked up somebody last week with a dead deer over one shoulder and a rifle over the other. Now that just isn’t on.

DOT: Sweet.

DOC: They’re endangered!

DOT: Oh, right. Well what do you want us to do about it?

DOC: Control your people. That’s all.

DOT: Sweet as. Yeah, sweet. Anyway thanks for the meet, better run now. Booked a bungee for 3pm and there’s no use jumping with a dry stomach, eh? See ya bro.

DOC: Where will you be jumping from?

DOT: Nevis, mate.

DOC: Well do make sure you at least pay some attention to the canyon rocks before you hurtle towards them. (Or, hopefully, onto them.)

DOT: What was that bro?

DOC: Nothing… Bro.


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