A disappointing decision

July 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Controversial plans for a tunnel between Queenstown and Milford Sound have been rejected by Minister .

Dr Smith said he was declining the application because the environmental impacts were “significant” and beyond what was appropriate in two of New Zealand’s most spectacular national parks.

Milford Dart Limited had applied for permission to build a $170 million, 11.3km, five-metre diameter, single-lane bus tunnel that would have slashed the nine-hour journey time between the tourist hotspots.

How disappointing. The journey to Milford is insane, and a major turn off.  I don’t see how having hundreds of buses driving man extra hours on the roads is good for the environment.

All facilities to get tourists in have some impact on a high value conservation area. But without them, no one at all would ever get to see them and value them. The Daintree Rain Forest has a gondola for example.

A tunnel would have far less visual impact than a road as it is well, underground, apart from the entrance and exit. I was hoping the application would be approved. If it had got the go ahead, I reckon in 20 years time everyone would be saying it should have happened a long time ago. Now, it may never happen.

Tags: ,

73 Responses to “A disappointing decision”

  1. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    Phooey, I don’t believe this was ever a goer. If it had been completed it would have been a gigantic white elephant

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Brian Harmer (686 comments) says:

    And you would go to Las Vegas to get a really good insight into the wilderness ecology of the Mojave desert? If places are easy to get to, they are no longer wilderness.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Nick Smith, the fifth-columnist and loony leader of the Blue Green faction of Labour Lite. Pftttt.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Steve Wrathall (261 comments) says:

    Another decision by Labour-lite to announce to the world that we are closed for business. So it would produce a pile of broken rocks? So what? In time they would be covered by beech forest like every landslip in the Southern Alps since time immemorial

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. rouppe (942 comments) says:

    David, you have forgotten about the ventilation shafts, the mandatory fire-suppression sources (where is all that high pressure water going to come from?), the emergency evacuation exits, the power supply for the extractor fans…

    It won’t just be a hole drilled through a mountain.

    And as Nick Smith said, where exactly is the spoil from the tunnel excavations going to be dumped? Dart were going to dump it in the Hollyford Valley.

    You’ve just walked through a National Park in Utah. Imagine several million cubic metres of dirt dumped in there

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. mikemikemikemike (319 comments) says:

    From what I’m reading a fair bit of the decision was based on the fact that building the tunnel safely, while minimizing environment impact for that kind was money was the red alert for Nick Smith. The Auckland tunnel is scoped to cost 10 times that amount and isn’t as long as the one they were scoping here.

    And to those who are saying this is a signal that we are closed for business…there are what? about 5 businesses in there, all who do very well out of the place as it is I’m sure. If you open it up further you will have increased numbers in the sound eroding some of its special character, while pushing to one side an entire economy from a town. Remember that the people who go here are not yuppies or big city lovers looking for the best clubs, they are looking for one of the most beautiful untouched places on Earth, the very reason you go there is because of its isolation!

    I think it was the right decision with the information he was given.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Keeping Stock (10,177 comments) says:

    Dead right rouppe. I’m no fan of Nick Smith, but he has made the right decision here. In any event, the drive from Te Anau to the Homer Tunnel then the descent into Milford Sound is so scenic that who would want to travel underground for 11km and miss it all?

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Colville (2,186 comments) says:

    I read Smits words with interest. He said he didnt believe it could be built safely for the money proposed and potentially NZ could be left with a un usable POS tunnel. I think they will go away and re do the plans and have another better crack at it. After the election.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    I was initially a bit disappointed but I think Nick Smith makes a compelling case – Good Dart tunnel decision

    A key negative it was a private company with a high risk project going through two National Parks that would not be open to the public,

    Queenstown is not the best base for a Milford visit anyway.

    You’re much bett to stay the night in Te Anau and drivie or get a bus to Milford from there. It’s much shorter, and you get the experience of the scenery all the way up to the Homer tunnel, then the majesty when you come out the other side.

    Another much longer tunnel – 11.3 km compared to 1.6 km – is anti scenic.

    And while staying in e Anau I suggest also doing oubtful Sound, not as dramatic but more remote and serene, as good an experience. You also get a boat ride across Lake Manapouri and can visit the bowels of the power station too if you like.

    A one day return trip from Queenstown is nuts.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    DPF, I have previously accused you of failing to do your homework on this one. From where I sit, having done my homework, the numbers simply don’t stack up. The issue with both proposals is (to me) fundamentally the same – its the roading through areas of pristine wilderness (which I labelled turning Disneyland into Fiordland) and the logistics of major civil engineering works in the region.

    Nick Smith’s announcement would indicate that the analysis has latched on to this. In the case of the tunnel, plonking a road adjacent to the Routeburn – and the issue of earthworks, technical risk and cost. Ultimately, it doesn’t make sense and risked the taxpayer being left with a half-completed project.

    There are others ways of fostering development in the south without turning an area of world heritage status into the sort of tourist experience that you get elsewhere. I remain of the view that people come to Fiordland to get away from. And if there is an argument that the elderly or infirm are disadvantaged – then I not sure that we should apologise for retaining our wilderness.

    I note that there is still work to do on the monorail proposal – but from the material I have read, I expect that if a similar yardstick is applied to the economic, engineering and ‘experiential’ material, we should see a similar outcome.

    I am not anti-development but having done my homework I don’t buy the PR that either proposal is discrete or right sized for some of our remotest backcountry.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. lazza (369 comments) says:

    Now here’s an idea. Why not build … wait for it! … A GONDOLA!

    Brilliant!

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pete Macaulay (47 comments) says:

    In this case I feel the Nick Smith has it right. The tunnel would bypass part of the real attraction with kilometers of darkness. The safety issue is also a biggy. I support the monorail concept though.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. rouppe (942 comments) says:

    lazza, that’s the backup if the monorail fails. ;-)

    For the record, I’m even more against a monorail that I was the tunnel. Where exactly have monorails actually worked before?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    Queenstown to Milford Sound – 286 km (572 km round trip)

    Te Anau to Milford Sound – 118 km (236 km round trip)

    No brainer.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Sorry, they lost me at “single-lane bus tunnel”

    Meh.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. lazza (369 comments) says:

    OOOpps thanks rouppe. Gondola … (DOH!) I mean’t … MONORAIL. (honest) Same diff?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    It is a dissapointing descision and dreadful how twenty agitators can stop progress vitally needed for the country’s benefit. “The NZ disease”
    I thought Dr Smith’s reasons were very adequate and well put in the radio interview but my dissapointment comes from him not saying “Yes BUT”. the BUT in this case is meeting his safety and eccologiocal concerns and ensuring that the government is not left to pick up the pieces if Dart runs out of money … there must surely be insurance for such an event.
    Then if Dart cannot meet Dr. Smiths requirements the project doesn’t go ahead.

    A major point was glossed over in the radio I/V and that was what happens to the spoil from tunnelling … I doubt if it is like mole ploughing where the earth is compacted outwards around the tunnel being made.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,833 comments) says:

    I wonder when the Neanderthal, knuckle dragging red necks who infest this blog will stop using the term Labour-Lite?

    Has anyone told them about surplus budgets, welfare reform, healthcare reform?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    Queenstown to Milford Sound – 286 km (572 km round trip)

    Te Anau to Milford Sound – 118 km (236 km round trip)

    No brainer.

    Um Pete George the tourists get to Queenstown on a Jet plane and stay in swanky hotels after they arrive, how do they get to Te Anau and where do they stay? There is more to this than looking at a map – Duh

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    rouppe (685) Says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 9:30 am
    lazza, that’s the backup if the monorail fails.

    For the record, I’m even more against a monorail that I was the tunnel. Where exactly have monorails actually worked before?

    Disneyland and Ireland

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    I wonder when the Neanderthal, knuckle dragging red necks who infest this blog will stop using the term Labour-Lite?

    Has anyone told them about surplus budgets, welfare reform, healthcare reform?

    I guess the “knuckle dragging red necks who infest this blog” also see things like the ETS, the ignoring of the anti-smacking referendum, gay marriage, huge increases in tobacco excise duties and other lefty social engineering initiatives that have come to fruition under Mr Key’s so called “center right” Government

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Colville (2,186 comments) says:

    jcuk.

    Insurance would need to be in the form of a massive up front cash bond, brutally costly.

    The spoil from the tunnel, 500,000 M3 of it from memory, were to be dumped in Hollyford valley.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    Brian Harmer (671) Says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 9:04 am
    And you would go to Las Vegas to get a really good insight into the wilderness ecology of the Mojave desert? If places are easy to get to, they are no longer wilderness

    The point is that in the tunnel they do not see the wilderness and it is left pristine for the healthy young bucks and does to get away to. age-ism rampant

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    whenever we hear monorail we think simpsons :D

    but is the monorail option legit? or some hair brained scheme?

    Dimes too lazy to research for himself on this one!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    Andrei – toursists who do Milford from Queenstown either fly (plane or chopper), or go by bus.

    And many already go by the same soert of buses to stay in swanky hotels in Te Anau, and then on a much shorter bus trip to Milford from there.

    Check it out – http://www.te-anau.nz.com/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    Andrei .. we could always build an international airport for Te Anau … probably safer than having to operate in and out of Queenstown. That would make the south of the southisland really on the world scene with four international airports at Dunedin, Invercargil, Te Anau and Queenstown :-) Pity only penguins live in antarctica. Maybe when the world gets warmer?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. shoreboy57 (137 comments) says:

    If the current drive is such a “turn off” you would think nobody would do. Yet daily they do, by bus car and campervan cramming into the pristine bottleneck that is Milford.

    But this isn’t an anti-development decision. Poorly thought through proposals should not simply be rubber-stamped.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. AG (1,803 comments) says:

    A tunnel would have far less visual impact than a road as it is well, underground, apart from the entrance and exit.

    This is silly.

    A tunnel requires digging lots and lots and lots of rocks out of a mountain. Lots and lots and lots of rocks. Half a million tons of them. Those rocks then need to go somewhere. And the proposal was to dump them in the Hollyford Valley, where they hardly are going to be invisible … as well as threatening to leach into the Hollyford River. Which would then impact on this experience: http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/travel/202938/extraordinary-journey

    So this idea that “it’s just a tunnel – no-one will even know it is there” kind of overlooks a pretty important issue in regards how you get a tunnel in the first place.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. anonymouse (708 comments) says:

    I think De smith was right to turn down this variation of the proposal, but is it likely he will see the proposal again,

    Supposedly the tunnel proposers have a new version that brings the eastern tunnel portal closer to Glenorchy and more importantly outside the National Park,

    But I think the big kicker is the assurance of safety, Pike River has brought into focus the danger of long single entry/exit tunnels, Tunnel fires in Europe over the last 20 years have resulted in most major long tunnels being bored today having at least a separate escape tunnel or dual tunnels and interconnecting galleries.

    In India they have recently opened an 11km rail tunnel that cost around $250 million NZ, The $180 million price tag assigned to this project is woefully light,

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Steve Wrathall (261 comments) says:

    500 000 m3 equals a volume of 100 x 100 x 50 m – indistinguishable from a small mound of glacial till. In a few years you wouldn’t even notice it unless you were told.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. david (2,553 comments) says:

    Good decision. For me the problem would be that it would have been the thin end of a rather damaging wedge. It would not have been very long before a proposal for an airport at the head of the Routeburn was put forward followed by a raft of hotel beds so that tourists could fly in, have their day in Milford and retire for the night in the Routeburn Valley before jetting off to Rotorua for a night. If that is the extent of the tourist experience that we want to offer then we are all fucked.

    My attitude would be that it needs to take a bit of effort to experience something unique in the world and to really appreciate it. The big spenders already fly in so what is envisioned is pumping through greater and greater numbers of cheap and nasty economy tourists all of whom will piss and shit the same as the big spenders and who will cost as much or more to clean up after when they have gone back to wherever.

    We would be better off if Te Anau was developed as an alternative to Queenstown. Problem solved.

    Don’t forget also that the proponents of all this are tied in to Ngai Tahu who are taking a long term approach to coining it big time regardless if the environmental damage they may have been responsible for. Guardians of nature ……. Yeah Right

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. AG (1,803 comments) says:

    I don’t see how having hundreds of buses driving man extra hours on the roads is good for the environment.

    But, of course, you need to off-set any fewer “man extra hours” that are driven against:

    (1) The environmental costs (including CO2 emissions) generated by building the tunnel; and,

    (2) The extra buses that will ferry the expected greater number of tourists on the shorter journey.

    Because let’s imagine building the tunnel halves the travel time, but doubles the number of tourists who make the journey. Even if all those tourists take the shorter route (which they won’t – a number will still drive the longer way on at least one leg of the journey in order to see the scenery), the “man hours” spent driving them there will be the same as at present. Meaning that there is no saving of energy/CO2 reduction to compensate for the environmental cost of building the tunnel in the first place.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. david (2,553 comments) says:

    Interesting the math on amount of spoil. 11Km x 5 metres x 5 metres gives you 275,000 cu metres. An extra 225,000 cu metres to carve out approach roads and passing bays?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. AG (1,803 comments) says:

    500 000 m3 equals a volume of 100 x 100 x 50 m – indistinguishable from a small mound of glacial till. In a few years you wouldn’t even notice it unless you were told.

    Maybe … but for those “few years” (how many? 7? 10? 15?) it is going to be a pig ugly scar. Plus do you know what is going to be at the heart of the mountain they tunnel through, and what the leachate potential of that rock is (given that it’s going to be dumped alongside a pristine river in an area of extraordinarily high rainfall)?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Colville (2,186 comments) says:

    david (good name that!)
    I did the same sums, and its 5M dia not sq so its less than that. Also most if not all of that spoil could/would be reused as fill and/or roading materials.

    So I am not sure that the spoil despoiling (ha!) the landscape is valid….

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Right decision. Whack a gondola / monorail through that bush, splendid views for the Chinese who have never seen anything like it. They won’t even get their plimsolls wet.

    To stop the greenies going mental, put a life of ten years on it and then renege.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    Nick Smith?

    A bluegreen loser.

    Always has been. Always will be. (ETS)

    The man is a curse on NZ and the National Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Steve Wrathall (261 comments) says:

    “do you know what is going to be at the heart of the mountain…” Yes. Rock.
    The same rock that gets eroded and “dumped” into numerous “pristine” rivers. Exactly the same material that forms the riverbed in fact. Yet somehow the fact that it’s been quarried makes it unclean. This is deep-green ideology that is strangling this country.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. doggone7 (755 comments) says:

    The problem for the promoters of the tunnel is that they did’t get SkyCity on board. I mean a convention centre in Milford with a casino, (I mean just a little, wee casino) could have been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow tunnel. The marketing opportunities of tunnelling to gold, reaching for the Sky by tunnel, etc,etc.

    The problem for the supporters of the project may have been that Steven Joyce wasn’t the Minister for the Conservation!

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    The proposed tunnel would have been in one of the most active seismic areas of the country, where we get some of our biggest earthquakes fairly regularly.

    Near the south-western end of the South Island, the roles of the plates are reversed. Here the Australian Plate has a thin crust of oceanic rock. Just offshore from Fiordland, it descends beneath the thicker continental crust of the South Island. The magnitude 7.2 Fiordland earthquake in August 2003 was a subduction earthquake – the result of the oceanic rock under the Tasman Sea moving up to 5 metres inward under the South Island.

    Subduction also causes very deep earthquakes. These earthquakes occur within the sinking oceanic crust as the stiff slabs are bent downward. There are distinctive zones of deep earthquakes beneath the North Island and Marlborough, and under Fiordland.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/earthquakes/page-2

    Some of our worst crust mangling occurs in that region.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    I’m fascinated by all these views that any tunnel / gondola / monorail proposal would be AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER!!! when the status quo is apparently just fine, consisting as it does of:

    :arrow: Not one but TWO tourist towns on beautiful lakes, bidding to accommodate the tourists en route to Milford
    :arrow: 300km of two-lane Highway through the wilderness, including – oh noes! – a TUNNEL!
    :arrow: A legion of buses doing 600km day round-trips
    :arrow: A beige-on-beige, shiny stainless steel and glass office complex at the head of Milford Sound (right next to that view everyone photographs) to service the row of diesel cruise ships lined up there (including at least one that looks like a multi-storey hotel…)

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    doggone7 – Sky City are will soon own both Queenstown casinos.

    SkyCity has been given the green light to buy Queenstown’s Wharf Casino, meaning the Auckland-based operator will own both casinos in the resort town.

    SkyCity said it expected to take possession of the Wharf Casino next week.

    “We are pleased that the purchase of the Wharf Casino is now unconditional, which means we now have two casino licences in the Queenstown region, which is New Zealand’s leading tourism destination,” chief executive Nigel Morrison said.

    “The purchase is part of our strategy to grow our presence in Queenstown, which we believe has huge potential for tourism growth. It follows our purchase of the remaining 40 per cent of SkyCity Queenstown late last year,” Morrison said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8928981/SkyCity-gets-nod-to-buy-Wharf-Casino

    So Queenstown as a base with more Milford access would benefit SkyCity.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. insider (1,030 comments) says:

    It cost $50m just to refit the Mt. Victoria and terrace tunnels with new lights, fire systems and ventilation. A new 1km Mt Vic tunnel is budgeted at more than $300m. These are relatively simple tunnels close to a qualified work force. That should tel you the level of risk built into this $180m tunnel plan. Smith has done the right thing based on the numbers alone.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    …will stop using the term Labour-Lite?

    It would be for your health if you stop the ass-kissing and licking, Adolf.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    Yes Adolf why don’t you just go join the Labour party?

    You would be doing better for everyone when you’re pulling the left right rather than in National pulling the so called right further left.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. AG (1,803 comments) says:

    The same rock that gets eroded and “dumped” into numerous “pristine” rivers. Exactly the same material that forms the riverbed in fact. Yet somehow the fact that it’s been quarried makes it unclean. This is deep-green ideology that is strangling this country.

    Not all “rock” is the same stuff. And suddenly dumping several hundred thousand tons of spoilage extracted from deep underground is not the same as a river eroding surface rocks over a lengthy period of time. This would seem to be a pretty obvious point, and a quick google search of the term “acid mine drainage in New Zealand” might held you to better understand it.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    insider

    Fitting new lights, ventilation and fire suppression into an all-new tunnel would be quicker and cheaper per metre than retrofitting those systems into an existing tunnel that is open for heavy city traffic. ;-)

    I’m also not sure whether fire suppression would even be required in a remote highway tunnel in the wilderness; aren’t Wellington’s SH1 tunnels a bit different because they are SH1?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Paulus (2,562 comments) says:

    I would love to go from Queenstown, by boat coach to a monorail to Te Anau, and back for the pure experience.
    Would not go to Milford though

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. hj (6,732 comments) says:

    Other issues aside those who talk about the magnificent bus ride (Queenstown to Milford Sound) are wrong. It takes approx 2 hrs either way to get to Te Anau before you start on the Milford Road.. The reason people do it is that they are time constrained… and that is a big issue with packaged tours: you get bang for your buck but you pay for it by spending a long time in a bus.

    I’d like to see a road down the Hollyford Valley but a pilot tells me that there are numerous streams (bridges) and it follows the alpine fault which is primed to go off with such force it will be felt across the Tasman.

    I think you have to strike a balance between wilderness and human infrastructure- I see nothing wrong (for instance) with a tree top walkway over the Hokitika Gorge and I’m a fan of cycleways. Much tourism is just a load of all sh*t; peole banging their heads against a bus window while they sleep.

    Philosophically I don’t like the idea of National Parks in so far as they suggest “here we preserve”/ “crap here” (e.g in your own urban neighbourhood – which is an assault on the senses).

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Dougal (11 comments) says:

    I for one am pleased the tunnel has been declined. Milford does not need any more tourists as it is overcrowded at the moment. There has been talk from time to time of having a quota system to ensure that the numbers are controlled to a realistic level. If that were the case then would the tunnel be able to pay its way. Anyway the talk is that the people who applied for the right to build the tunnel were always going to flick it on to an overseas buyer who would then build it. Do we need that. there are plenty of other places for tourists to visit that are better them Milford in the same area.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. hj (6,732 comments) says:

    A disappointing decision
    http://www.remarkablespark.com/news/greg-ross-talks-to-queenstown-property-developers/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. hj (6,732 comments) says:

    Queenstown advertises itself as “The Adventure Capital of the World,” where you can bungy jump, heli-ski, jet-boat, or sky-dive. The confines of the modest town can no longer accommodate the throng of thrill-seekers. Soaring mountains still fringe the lake, but condos are creeping along the shore, a snake of traffic clogs the road into town, and Louis Vuitton has set up shop along with Global Culture, a clothes store.
    If your idea of a holiday is a seething mass of cars and people, topped off by a cacophony of helicopters, Queenstown may be for you. Otherwise, it serves only as a warning of the perils of overdevelopment.
    “Queenstown used to be nice, but it’s a mess, now,” Verduyn says, as we continue our trip down the Upper Clutha. “We don’t want to get like that.”
    He points out a bunker-like private dwelling atop a bluff, and shakes his head.
    “It was a disaster to put that building in there,” he says. “People from all over the world are coming here seeking a wilderness, a sanctuary. The worst-case scenario is that we damage the environment, which brings people to New Zealand in the first place.”
    Leigh Turner is a freelance writer in Berlin.
    http://www.boston.com/travel/articles/2004/11/07/new_zealand_at_a_crossroads/

    The people whisked away from the private jets to private locations and those who want to escape “the intensity of the urban population” will still buy. Those who control the dialogue will be o.k
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8602673/Building-the-Chinese-connection

    “Every day in every way New Zealand gets better and better”

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. hj (6,732 comments) says:

    The National cyclway is interesting in so far as you have a guided fishing industry based around Garston complaining that cyclists travelling through remote inner valleys will spoil things for them.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    @Steve Wrathall

    “500 000 m3 equals a volume of 100 x 100 x 50 m – indistinguishable from a small mound of glacial till. In a few years you wouldn’t even notice it unless you were told.”

    ——————–

    Your calculator is broken. It’s actually a volume of 100 x 100 x 500 m,

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Colville (2,186 comments) says:

    gump, that is five mil. 6 zero’s.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Colville (2,186 comments) says:

    and its 500,000 tonnes so only 200,000 M3 so its a tiny amount. Just a couple of buckets. :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    “gump, that is five mil. 6 zero’s.”

    And with a long time to edit his mistake he still didn’t realise it. Not that being so badly wrong has ever damaged his arrogant immature bumptiousness in the past.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. rouppe (942 comments) says:

    jcuk

    Surely you aren’t promoting the 9km Lartigue monorail toy as a success story to support the Fiordland one?

    And Disneyland? Seriously?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    Isn’t the drive part of the attraction?

    They should put a tunnel through the kaimais before thinking about this.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    :neutral: ffs…

    11,300m x pi x 2.5^2 = 221,875 m3.

    = 100m x 100m x 22.1875m

    = 471m x 471m x 1m

    Probably hard as hell granite or something, would make good chipseal or drainage fill ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    “Probably hard as hell granite”

    Yeah probably, they always choose a tunnel as the best solution when there is granite present.

    Pfffttt…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Yeah probably, they always choose a tunnel as the best solution when there is granite present.

    Pfffttt…

    ;-) Read and you might learn something:

    http://mining.mines.edu/emi/hard_rock_manapouri_new.html

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    Adolf Fiinkensein (2,477) Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I wonder when the Neanderthal, knuckle dragging red necks who infest this blog will stop using the term Labour-Lite?

    Has anyone told them about surplus budgets, welfare reform, healthcare reform?

    ———————————–
    Adolf if you want to engage in the truth of this then go to GD and repeat yourself.
    Plenty will take you up.

    There lots of positve proof. Just because you don’t want to see it others can.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    This didn’t take long: No court challenge over rejected tunnel plan

    The company whose proposal for a tunnel linking Queenstown with Milford Sound has been rejected will not seek a judicial review of the Conservation Minister’s decision.

    A director of Milford Dart Limited, the company behind the plan, says the decision was clear and there’s no point taking the issue through the courts.

    Tom Elworthy says his company gave it their best shot, but after eight years battling to build the tunnel there is no point taking the proposal further.

    He says a second plan to develop a similar tunnel, which was presented to the Conservation Minister, Nick Smith, last week will also be scrapped.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/214738/no-court-challenge-over-rejected-tunnel-plan

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. bushbasher (12 comments) says:

    What nobody here seems to be understanding is that the Mt Aspiring National Park Management Plan explicitly does not allow for a tunnel (classed as a road) to be built in the national park. If the Tunnel had been approved, it would have ended up in court, leaving egg on the govt’s face. It would have been this generation’s Manapouri.

    The monorail plan too, if it’s approved, will be taken to court by a number of organisations.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Those rocks then need to go somewhere. And the proposal was to dump them in the Hollyford Valley, where they hardly are going to be invisible … as well as threatening to leach into the Hollyford River.

    So… you’re saying rocks might get in the river.

    Right.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    So… you’re saying rocks might get in the river.

    So… you’re saying that pyroxenes and amphiboles getting in the river won’t be a problem.

    Right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroxene#Pyroxene_minerals

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphibole#Mineral_species

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    rouppe (687) Says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    jcuk

    Surely you aren’t promoting the 9km Lartigue monorail toy as a success story to support the Fiordland one?

    And Disneyland? Seriously?

    Somebody aasked the question and I mentioned a couple off the top of my head. I am sure there are successful monorails around the place if we look for them.
    The whole point is you have to break eggs to make an omlete and the messy cooking stage is relatively short with good management and the result can be delicious. The vested interests of the healthy bucks and does along with the gudied fishing industrry make me sick

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    Bushwacker The monorail plan too, if it’s approved, will be taken to court by a number of organisations.

    Mores the pity with the RMA stiffling progress and vested interests agitating for their pet view of the world.

    I am not suprise that Elworthy has had enough of the circus after eight years GHNZ

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    This looks like one of those cases where everyone has an opinion but very few actually know what’s going on. The fill, as finally pointed it, infinitesimal, probably less than 1% of what naturally occurs in a year. The tourists wouldn’t miss a very nice scenic drive into Milford, they would exit the tunnel in the Hollyford valley, climb back up to the main highway and go through the Homer tunnel and down into Milford. People don’t stay (much) in Te Anau because there’s damn all accommodation and only a piddling little airport. And it is a long day to “do” Milford from Queenstown and almost no accommodation in Milford.

    Certainly visual pollution is a potential issue, the terminal at the Glenorchy side was to have been about 500 metres from the start of the Routeburn, but ostensibly hidden. I can imagine imposing adequate standards on that could solve the problem in general. The road access to Glenorchy and beyond to the portal would certainly need a major upgrade, but all doable.

    The one point I do agree with though, is that the costs do appear ridiculously low, I would have thought it was overall a minimum of $500M, and I can’t see that there would ever be a chance for much recovery.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. AG (1,803 comments) says:

    This looks like one of those cases where everyone has an opinion but very few actually know what’s going on. The fill, as finally pointed it, infinitesimal, probably less than 1% of what naturally occurs in a year.

    Hilarious. You say people don’t know what is going on, then just pull this figure out of your fundamental.

    Look – if Nick Smith was so silly in saying the dump of spoilage was a major environmental concern, then why aren’t the tunnel backers challenging his decision in the High Court? Should be a gimme … right? After all, rocks are just rocks!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    In the wake of this I sure hope the Tongariro flyover still goes ahead. What a waste of a days walk, tourists don’t have the time for messing about with scree slopes just to get a view!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    If the Tunnel had been approved, it would have ended up in court, leaving egg on the govt’s face. It would have been this generation’s Manapouri.

    You mean an essential service to the country that will benefit us all for generations with minimal environmental impact ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.