Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Fiordland Link monorail declined

Fiordland Link monorail declined


The application by Riverstone Holdings Limited to build and operate a $240 million monorail in Fiordland has been declined by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“This proposal does not stand up either economically or environmentally. The independent tourism and financial analysis concluded it was not viable. There would be a significant impact on the area’s flora, fauna and natural heritage. The route is not sufficiently defined to properly assess the impacts,” Dr Smith says.

“Developments in an area with World Heritage status and which impact on the Fiordland National Park must meet the highest of standards and I have concluded that the risks of this proposal are too great.”

The Fiordland Link Experience proposed a new link between Queenstown and Milford Sound consisting of a 20-kilometre boat excursion across Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas Station, a 45-kilometre all-terrain vehicle ride to Kiwi Burn, a 43.8-kilometre monorail ride to Te Anau Downs and a 90-kilometre coach journey to Milford Sound. The application included a lease, licence and concession for the monorail and related infrastructure through the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area including the Snowdon Forest and Fiordland National Park.

“This monorail had more merit than the Milford Tunnel proposal and has been a more difficult decision to make. The process has taken some time because I have wanted to consider it very carefully. I have visited the site twice, met its applicants twice, consulted with the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and spent days reading the relevant reports and responses from the applicants. I appreciate my decision will come as a major disappointment to Riverstone Holdings,” Dr Smith says.

“I do not want this decision interpreted as the Government and the Department of Conservation (DOC) being opposed to any proposal for alternative access options in Fiordland. The strategic issue of facilitating better transport options between Queenstown and Milford remains. The door is still open but proposals will need to be both environmentally sustainable and economically viable.

“This conservative decision reflects the cautious approach I have to developments in Fiordland. This World Heritage Area has some of New Zealand’s most highly valued and spectacular landscapes that require I err on the side of nature.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news