Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Minister’s monorail decision hugely disappointing

Minister’s monorail decision hugely disappointing

Riverstone Holdings Ltd is deeply disappointed with the Minister of Conservation’s decision today to decline its concession application for a monorail to cross 29km of conservation land as part of the proposed Fiordland Link Experience.

Riverstone Holdings director Bob Robertson says the Minister’s decision to decline came as a surprise and New Zealanders should be concerned by the precedent being set.

“New Zealand is losing a huge opportunity to develop a world-class tourism experience at no cost to the taxpayer. The Fiordland Link Experience would have provided a significant boost to the economy, provided 1000 jobs and future-proofed our tourism industry with no more than a minor ecological impact as confirmed by the Department of Conservation and the Hearing Commissioner,” says Mr Robertson.

“The reasons given for this decision are deeply flawed. The Minister has ruled that he could not be satisfied the project would be financially viable – a decision based on studies he commissioned that two independent expert assessments, commissioned by us, judged to be manifestly wrong as their conclusions were based on old data and made a series of assumptions that could not be justified.

“Economic viability can never truly be satisfied until extensive engineering design has been undertaken, a detailed business case is developed and funding is sourced, which would take at least six months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete. This is why we asked the Minister to make economic viability a condition, which would need to be proven before construction began. This ensured the risk remained squarely with us. Given this, his decision does not stand to reason.”

To that end, we proposed the following condition regarding the project’s viability be included: ‘That the project has been the subject of a robust due diligence process certified by a qualified third party and has subsequently secured all capital (equity and debt) to successfully build, complete and fund the ongoing operations of the business’.

Riverstone Holdings has worked closely with the Department of Conservation over eight years to ensure all environmental impacts could be appropriately mitigated. The independent Hearing Commissioner’s report backed the conditions proposed and advised the monorail could be constructed with only minor environmental impacts.

“We have proven our commitment to the environment and this project at every step and our plans have been vindicated by experts. To have our application face constant delays and ultimately end up with a decision being made months out from a national election is incredibly disheartening,” says Mr Robertson.

“We recognise that there will always be opponents of innovative ideas, but having stuck to this process in good faith, and incurred costs of over $5 million, this is a tough pill to swallow. No business should have to suffer a process like this.

“If this project can’t be approved, given the stringent conditions agreed to, then the message being sent is that private business should shut the book on investing in any potential development on conservation land. It would be better for this to be made clear at the outset, rather than have New Zealand businesses incur enormous costs and time for no purpose.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Taxing Multinationals: EU Ruling Sours Apple

Shares of Apple slid, down 0.9 percent as of 3.08pm in New York, after the European Commission ruled that Ireland granted the company undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros (US$14.5 billion)—"illegal aid” under EU rules that the commission says Ireland now must recover from Apple. More>>

ALSO:

NZX Review: Best Practice Code Recommends Code Of Ethics

NZX, the sharemarket operator, is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its corporate governance best practice code including a published code of ethics, rules about share trading and continuous disclosure, and more transparency over board appointments and chief executive pay. More>>

ALSO:

Auditors:

Signs Of Life? SETI On Russian Space(?) Signal

A star system 94 light-years away is in the spotlight as a possible candidate for intelligent inhabitants, thanks to the discovery of a radio signal by a group of Russian astronomers... Could it be a transmission from a technically proficient society? At this point, we can only consider what is known so far. More>>

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news