Department of Conservation Biodiversity Ranger Scott Theobald, who was one of three men killed in a tragic helicopter crash on October 18, has been honoured at the Public Service Day Awards.
Mr Theobald was awarded the State Services Commissioner’s Commendation for Frontline Excellence as well as the first ever New Zealand Public Service medal this evening.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage paid tribute to Scott Theobald and his pioneering work in developing the conservation dog programme which plays a pivotal role today in New Zealand’s predator control work.
“Scotty, as he was commonly known, epitomised what is meant by the Spirit of Service,” said Eugenie Sage.
“Though many doubted it was even possible, Scott persevered to successfully train New Zealand’s very first predator dog to catch ferrets and stoats. He endured tough and remote environments that often took him away from home for long periods of time.
‘Dedicated to protecting our precious environment from pest predators, Scott saw a need and created a solution that is now internationally recognised and sought after,” said Eugenie Sage.
“Scott was driven by his passion for his work – work that is recognised internationally.
“Tragically, Scott was killed in the course of his duties in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of DOC Senior Biodiversity Ranger Paul Hondelink and pilot Nick Wallis.”
Scott’s wife Adriana Theobald, who also works for DOC, accepted the award and medal on his behalf at an awards ceremony at Parliament Wellington.