Today is love DOC day. It is a day where we give thanks to the guys and girls who are out there, knee deep in mud and tip-toeing through the trees, looking after our treasured land.

Day after day, come rain, shine or high winds DOC staff are out there, safeguarding our heritage, our wildlife and our identity to ensure that New Zealand remains clean and green. They are the bastions of conservation, the protectors of our most fragile species like the Kiwi and the Kakapo and the guardians of our tramping trails. We owe them a lot.

Yet, like many of our iconic birds, they are under threat.

As the National led Government looks to roll back our environmental laws to suit big business, now more than ever we need a strong, well -resourced conservation department. But Nick Smith and Steven Joyce don’t agree.

They want to turn back the clock on all the great achievements won by DOC by slashing their funding and sacking staff. It is a shameful and damning act by a Government rapidly losing touch with ordinary New Zealanders and the New Zealand Story.

Across the board, the Government seems hell-bent on dismantling the very laws and agencies that have been put in place to keep New Zealand the green, beautiful country it is. Whether it’s gutting the RMA or banning protests at sea, the John Key’s government are wielding their axe to corporatize our country and we will be poorer for it.

So show your love for DOC today. Wherever you are, visit the local DOC office and tell them how much you appreciate the work they do and thank them for keeping our land and wildlife safe.

Hang in there DOC, we love you.