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Floating Hotel for Fiordland Rejected

3 August 2000

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Floating Hotel for Fiordland Rejected

For information contact: Sue Maturin (03) 477-9677ph(w), (03) 476-1907 (h)

or 025 222-5092


The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is delighted that Environment Southland has turned down an application for a "floating hotel" in Fiordland's marine wilderness.

Environment Southland released its decision today on an application by Fiordland Expeditions, to permanently moor a 35m long vessel, capable of accommodating 20 passengers plus crew, on one of two moorings in Dusky or Breaksea Sound. The proposal also involved frequent visits by helicopters and the discharge of treated sewage into the fiord.

The application was heard in Invercargill last week. Forest and Bird, some tour operators and the Southland Conservation Board opposed the application.

Forest and Bird's Southern Officer, Sue Maturin said "the proposal amounted to putting a "floating hotel" in a marine wilderness. It would be visually obtrusive, noisy and would ruin the wilderness values of the fiords."

"Environment Southland has been far-sighted in recognising that this activity would be contrary to the preservation of the natural character of the area and their decision shows that they are serious about protecting the wilderness and natural values of Fiordland." Sue Maturin said.

"The remote fiords of Fiordland are New Zealand's most pristine marine wilderness areas, and we need to be vigilant in protecting them. Tourism has effectively turned Milford and Doubtful Sounds into commercial centers, and we do not want this to extend to the rest of Fiordland." Sue Maturin said.

Ends

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