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Double-Standard On Southern Developments

Double-Standard On Southern Developments

It is interesting that, while vowing to fight the Skyline Enterprises/Ngai Tahu proposal - to build a gondola linking Queenstown and Milford Sound - Forest & Bird has remained silent on Project Aqua, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The Skyline/Ngai Tahu proposal has undergone detailed analysis, and been found to be first rate. There is clearly a bottleneck in this area, and a state-of-the-art gondola would provide an exciting new opportunity for both Queenstown and Milford Sound," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Further, with the gondola to travel up the Caples River Valley - over the McKellar Saddle and Greenstone Valley - and ending between Lakes Gunn and Fergus, it could well become one of the world's greatest gondola journeys.

"Meanwhile, it is intriguing that Forest and Bird officer Sue Maturin has vowed to fight this proposal, but is silent over Project Aqua - which will have a much greater impact on the environment than the gondola. Has Forest and Bird done a deal with Labour?

"Further, it is hugely ironic that, of the two major southern developments, it is Project Aqua that is receiving fast-track help from Government - and which will have greater impact on environment than the gondola, which is subject to huge scrutiny by the public.

"This gondola will provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase our wilderness, and has the potential to be one of our greatest nature drawcards. ACT congratulates and supports Ngai Tahu and Skyline Enterprises on this joint venture, which will mean that trampers are not the only ones to enjoy the great outdoors," Mr Eckhoff said.

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