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Forest & Bird Society supports Save Fiordland

Forest & Bird Society supports Save Fiordland

The Royal New Zealand Forest & Bird Society at their South Island Gathering in Invercargill has declared their continuing opposition to the proposed tunnel and monorail in the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area and pledged to support Save Fiordland and Stop the Tunnel should the impossible happen and the Minister give either or both projects approval to proceed.

Sue Maturin, Forest and Bird’s Otago Southland Field Officer, said both proposals were in contradiction to the purpose of national parks, and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area and were unnecessary. The proposals would have significant and irreversible impacts which could not be mitigated.

Ruth Dalley, a Forest & Bird Society member of 25 years and a Southland Committee member who is also on the committee for Save Fiordland spoke to the gathering, giving an update of the progress made so far with generating public awareness of, and support for, Save Fiordland anti-tunnel and anti-monorail campaign.

Ruth Dalley also talked about the fundraising undertaken by Save Fiordland should its campaign end up on the same path as the Denniston Plateau appeal. The Forest & Bird Society has committed significant funds for this appeal, which entered the court room on Monday 29 October, to save the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau from an open-cast coal mine.

So far donations and various fundraising initiatives have raised $17,000 for Save Fiordland. With the pledge of $14,000 from the Federated Mountain Clubs the organisation now has over $30,000 available for the potential court battle.

Daphne Taylor, Save Fiordland Chairperson said that the organisation can follow other avenues of seeking funds, such as applying to UNESCO for funding if the community considers the World Heritage Area under threat. “We are grateful to Forest & Bird for supporting the Save Fiordland campaign’s objectives,” she said.


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