Ex-DoC boss’s “great contribution” hailed



The Department of Conservation’s (DoC) head honcho in the Whakatipu for the past five years has departed for a new role within the organisation.

Southern South Island operations director Aaron Fleming tells Mountain Scene Geoff Owen’s last day as Whakatipu operations manager was March 29, after which he immediately took up the role of ‘improvement manager’ for the Southern South Island region, based in Alexandra.

The Whakatipu ops manager role was advertised for a fortnight from March 8, and candidates were interviewed a fortnight ago, with the successful applicant yet to be announced.

Conservation ranger Michel de Boulay is acting ops manager for the area in the meantime.

Fleming says Owen made a ‘‘great contribution’’ during his five years in the job, and that
contribution will continue through his new position, which will have a wider, regional focus.

In another staffing change, community senior ranger Susie Geh has been seconded to a national role, but will remain based in Queenstown.