DoC leaves concessionaires in the lurch

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has shown a lack of compassion towards businesses permitted to operate on conservation land, National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

When the border shut, concession holders saw a large chunk of their business dry up overnight. Despite having no income from international visitors, they are still having to pay full concession fees to DOC.

Those affected are often small businesses like cafes and tourism operators.

“Eugenie Sage said any application for relief would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, however a rejection email shared with me shows no evidence of the business’ individual circumstances being taken into consideration. In fact the email doesn’t even mention the business or its owner by name.

“The Government has told commercial landlords to act with compassion, yet its own department is doing no such thing.

“These business owners still have to meet fixed costs with little or no revenue coming in and DoC is offering them no respite.

“If we’re to rebuild our tourism industry and wider economy we will need these businesses providing their services. The Government needs to practice what it preaches and show them some compassion.”