Stop the Monorail

A private company has applied to the Department of Conservation for a concession to push a monorail and road through our public conservation lands...the Snowden Forest Conservation Area...which is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

Heads up! info below on yet another inappropriate tourism development proposal on our public conservation lands- a monorail through Fiordland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area in the South Island.

What's proposed:
a private company, whose majority shareholder is Infinity Investment Group, has applied to the Department of Conservation (DOC) for a concession to push a monorail and permanent construction/maintenance road through the Snowden Forest Conservation Area...which is part of the SW NZ World Heritage Area; unique due to its wilderness, endemic species, rare biodiversity. The grossly inappropriate full proposal would involve a boat (across L Wakitipu), then buses (Von River and Mararoa valleys), and then a 41km long monorail through our native bush; constructed for the exclusive use of the company's clients. The monorail leg would end at Te Anau Downs (an isolated spot towards the northern end of Te Anau Lake where the company owns a hotel/restaurant). Milford Sound is then another hour and a half by bus.

DOC announced, prior to any consultation, an 'intention' to grant the concession. There was public outrage once details were revealed, and hundreds of submissions from individuals and groups resulted. Save Fiordland, a non for profit community group, was born. Over a year later a final decision by the Minister "for" Conservation Nick Smith has yet to be made. Read more here about the proposal and the company behind it, and scroll down and follow the links for our 10 reasons why it should be opposed.

Fiordland has world heritage status because of its unique biodiversity and extensive wilderness. It is the jewel in the crown of Aotearoa's tourist destinations, and a mecca for visitors from around the world.

The recommendation by DOC (with their new mantra, driven by the National Party, "conservation for prosperity" rather than the former "protect, enjoy, be involved") supporting the monorail through ancient forest is a blow for conservationists, who say the monorail would ruin pristine high country that's home to important species like New Zealand's Bird of the Year, the Mohua.

Locals dispute claims that the rail corridor would be just six metres wide and wouldn't break the forest canopy.

"We're going through Southern Beech forest. They're typically maybe 30, 35 metres high. They tip over as part of the ecology. The clearance may well need be 70 metres," Bill Jarvie, Save Fiordland president, told ONE News.

You can help mana whenua and other locals stop the second of two commercial proposals that would destroy Fiordland wilderness; read about the monorail. To stop this shocking project being built and destroying tens of thousands of trees, ripping through unique habitats, and ruining the recreational enjoyment of trampers, hunters and many other people, pls take action now.


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