Conservation Department recommends approval of Fiordland Monorail

October 30th, 2013 at 4:01 pm by David Farrar

Nick Smith has announced:

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today inspected the site of the proposed , met with the applicants, and released official advice recommending he approve the project subject to extensive conditions.

“This ambitious $200 million project involves the building of the world’s longest monorail to enhance the experience of the hundreds of thousands of visitors travelling between Queenstown and Milford Sound,” Dr Smith says.

“I wanted to see for myself the areas affected by the construction of the two terminals and the 29.5-kilometre long, six-metre wide corridor that would be cleared to make way for the monorail through public conservation land. I also wanted to thoroughly scrutinise the impacts on the Snowdon Forest and its wildlife, as well as understanding the effects on the existing recreational users of the area.

“This monorail decision will be no easier than that of the Milford Tunnel. I am very protective of National Parks like Fiordland and this project has the advantage of being largely outside it. However, the monorail still requires clearance of a large area of forest on public conservation land.

This is a key point – that the monorail is almost entirely outside the Fiordland National Park itself.

Tags: ,

58 Responses to “Conservation Department recommends approval of Fiordland Monorail”

  1. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    Is anyone running a book on how long till it goes bust?

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (13,386 comments) says:

    Lets wait for the Luddites, Greenpeace and Forest & Bird to voice their opposition. It shouldn’t take that long.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. reversespin (68 comments) says:

    I supported the Routeburn tunnel proposal and I support the monorail proposal, as they both reduce the travel times and impacts from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

    The problem is that neither proposal really benefited the average kiwi. The tunnel would have been private and the monorail caters to tourists on package tours and no vehicle.

    Still…………good to see some development and investment being approved by DoC.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. iMP (2,245 comments) says:

    We have huge amounts of locked up forest estate. So selective tourists routes like this, with a low-impact, are better than cutting roads. The Tran-Alpine trainline and road thru Arthurs Pass National park and Otira to the West Coast has not ended civilisation as we know it.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Jimbo (40 comments) says:

    As long as no public money ever gets spent on this I couldn’t care one with or the other. But no doubt the planners will be putting out their hands soon, as the financial case just isn’t there.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac>Is anyone running a book on how long till it goes bust?

    The sooner the better. If they actually construct something then we risk having rusty old monorail tracks fouling up a forest for the next hundred years.

    I hear Sydney have a monorail for sale. It was the way of the future in 1988. Now it is an ugly embarrasement and they’re glad to see the back of it. So we’re only 25 years behind Australia.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. shoreboy57 (131 comments) says:

    When can I buy a ticket………..

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Pete George (22,863 comments) says:

    I don’t know how much it will reduce travel time to Milford, possibly little or not at all. It’s shorter but involves four modes of travel – catamaran, all terrain vehicle, monorail and then bus the last 90 km. All but the bus will be slower and you have to factor in the change between modes as well, which will include waiting time.

    And then repeat in reverse order if doing the return trip from and to Queenstown.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Bill Ted (80 comments) says:

    Good decision from DOC. Makes it easier for the Minister to say yes. From memory Pete, it will probably knock a couple of hours off the return trip. 10 hours on a bus is pretty horrible – I’d happily pay more and get an experience. Hopefully we get to see it built sometime in the next couple of years and watch the tourists flock. There will no doubt be conditions imposed that mean if it ever goes bust there is a bond or insurance in place to remediate the land. Pretty sure it wouldn’t get approved without that condition, so can’t see any problem. It’s easy to be a whinger in this country, I credit these guys with actually wanting to achieve something.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Great news. Now we just need to unlock our mineral and oil reserves in a similar way.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. bushbasher (12 comments) says:

    While the land that the monorail will pass through is not national park, it doesn’t mean that the land has no value. I have personally hunted and tramped in the area, and in some ways the area is more enjoyable because it is not a national park. It isn’t flooded with tourists like the Routeburn and Milford tracks. The impacts of the monorail are also understated. It also requires a service road to run along side it. While it is development, it will also kill Te Anau businesses. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Paulus (2,503 comments) says:

    Like Shoreboy – I want a first ticket.

    Can’t wait for the shit to hit the fan from GreenLabourWinstonMana Party.

    Sorry Winnie it will be dry and non smoking, so tough you cannot make it.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. m@tt (588 comments) says:

    All I see is another bunch of bludgers that are going to have their hands out for taxpayer ‘tourism’ funding, until the thing inevitably goes belly up and they piss off leaving us with the mess.
    Bill, I understand the sentiment but I can guarantee you that there is no way the project would be financially feasible if they were required to be able to fully fund deconstruction and land remediation if they go bust. A bond would only ever be a fraction of the full cost, once they are bust they can’t be made to pay more and no insurer would go near that kind of deal it in a million years.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. noskire (832 comments) says:

    A feckin stupid proposal – four modes of transport FFS! What a logistical nightmare this white elephant will be when either the ATV, CAT, Monorail or bus inevitably breaks down.

    As for Te Anau, it will have little impact – the majority of the tour coaches from Queenstown bypass it anyway, and the vast majority of visitors to Te Anau are FIT’s.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Colville (2,082 comments) says:

    Bring it on.

    If this is done properly it will be on EVERY tourists agenda.

    NZ Win$ win$ win$

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,798 comments) says:

    First prize for dumbest comment ever:-

    “The problem is that neither proposal really benefited the average kiwi.”

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I was wrong yesterday when I said the Government was busy just governmenting. they are doing much better than that.

    This is outstanding the retards will be wetting themselves over this and the Government can just sit back and say – look at the retards, economic sabotaging away when we are making things happen. Mint

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Alan (1,064 comments) says:

    If people need get from Queenstown to Milford, why dont we just build a motorway? Four modes of transport seems excessive.

    However my map of NZ pretty much has “thar be dragons” written on it for evrything south of the Bombays, (with exceptions for Rotorua and Wellington CBD) so i’m really not that stressed what happens as long as i don’t have to pay for it. Bet i do though.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Colville (2,082 comments) says:

    Paul.
    It is an amusing thought.
    Key and Smith get their heads together and come up with a list of 10 Gween sensitive projects that all have ecconomic benifits for NZ and roll out one a month for the next 10 months and see if they can make Wussels head explode :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Alan

    This is about the journey not the destination. A monorail through that country which is scenic gold, it will be stunning.

    Na sayers away please

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Nostalgia-NZ (4,913 comments) says:

    How many million to save the snails? Or are they thinking of opening a French Restaurant?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Fentex (867 comments) says:

    stupid proposal – four modes of transport FFS!

    I imagine that’s an attraction, making the trip a bit of an adventure more enjoyable than sitting in a cramped bus for ages.

    I find it hard to believe it’ll be profitable, which does raise questions about those parts on public land should it be left to rust.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    Let’s get on with it. I have never been to Milford because of the mental length of the journey! a monorail, 4wd and a boat sounds brilliant and would quite happily pay for the privilege.
    Buggar the Luddite Greens who oppose absolutely everything, if they had their way there wouldn’t even be a road into the place and it would lie undiscovered and NZ would be shy a million odd tourists each year as well as kiwis not able to really enjoy the reason why we live at the bottom of the earth and not somewhere a bit more exciting and lively.
    No point living in paradise if you can’t see it too appreciate it.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Fisiani (953 comments) says:

    Transmission gully approved and work starts February 2014. Yeah.
    $200,000,000 hopefully invested in Fiordland to give an eco-friendly world class 5 star tourist experience.
    Go on Give us a road from Milford to Haast to open up the West Coast.
    Open the coal mine at Denniston.
    Find platinum in Northland
    Billions of dollars of hydrocarbons just waiting to be tapped into all over NZ.
    Irrigation of the Canterbury Plains and East Cape
    or elect the Greens. Thousands of jobs lost and the economy trashed Soviet style.
    Clear choice next year.
    Forwards or Backwards.
    I choose Forward with National.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. noskire (832 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay (4,543) Says:
    October 30th, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    Alan

    This is about the journey not the destination. A monorail through that country which is scenic gold, it will be stunning.

    Na sayers away please

    Personally I think the drive from Te Anau to Milford IS half the trip – but I grew up in Te Anau so what do I know…

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    I hope the windows will slide right down and they provide a good padded rest for the forestock! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @ noskire but I grew up in Te Anau so what do I know

    there’s a difference from being raised and growing up, thought might like to know if you didn’t ,because you appear to be questioning yourself.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    JB
    \
    One of the longest on going rorts in NZ. The allocation of Wapiti blocks in Te Anau.
    Same guys twenty three years on the trot get a block

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    I get raised on regular occasions but I’ve never grown up! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    I hope they maximize the economic benefits and power it with west coast coal.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    I gave up trying for Sambar blocks up Santoft way PEB. It’s fucking who you know that counts there! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    It could run right up to the Denniston Plateau to refuel Kea! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    A steam powered monorail now there’s a plan. Seat covers upholstered in crayfish decimating seal skin. aah nivarna

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Begorrah PEB. Yer a man oive retro vision. It’s already been done by de Oirish! :)

    http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/lartigue/lartigue.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Johnboy, they could ship it down and build a scenic port. The yanks could bring their nuclear boats there once we build malls, bars and
    Import some hookers.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    JB

    JK is sharp, he’s already saved a fortune in in R & D, bloody good isn’t he.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    We could build them a nuclear refueling base on Long Island in Dusky Sound….make them feel at home Kea.

    Dime could organise the hookers! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Johnboy, we could mine uranium in the park. We could even build nuclear powered coal shovels for strip mining ;)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    When Tiwai Point closes we could use the nuclear powered coal shovels to knock through the Wilmot Pass to create the worlds biggest water slide to entertain the Yanks from the submarine base Kea! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Yeah we could put the submarine base next to the whaling station for the Japanese boats.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    I can’t understand how this thing will ever make money.

    It’s a great idea, but the cost to build it is stupidly expensive.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Manolo (13,386 comments) says:

    Ah, the reason is the Bird of the Year. How stupidly anti-progress these 7th-century people are.
    http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/media-release/fiordland-monorail-decision-could-further-endanger-bird-the-ye

    The mohua was voted Bird of the Year in Forest & Bird’s annual poll only yesterday.

    Forest & Bird Otago/Southland Field Officer Sue Maturin says that as well as posing a risk to the mohua, the project would pose an even greater threat to endangered long tailed bats.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. tvb (4,210 comments) says:

    It would have been helpful showing a map showing where it is going. Because in the same statement saying it is largely outside the Park the Minister he says a large area is required to be cleared. The two “larges” are in conflict.

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

    The term large is relative. It is a big park. I am all for protecting these places but this will just be a thread with minimal impact. Having more people access this beautiful wild place could assist its long term protection.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Scott Chris (5,883 comments) says:

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. wf (374 comments) says:

    PLEASE, no platinum in Northland.

    The thought of the ongoing negotiations with interested land claimants
    is terminally exhausting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    There’s a perfectly good track that gets you to Milford in just 4 easy days walking. Don’t know why everybody’s in such a hurry these days.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. flipper (3,574 comments) says:

    Fisiani says:

    *** …Clear choice next year.
    Forwards or Backwards.
    I choose Forward with National….. ***

    and then:
    Rick Rowling (726) Says:
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:30 am
    There’s a perfectly good track that gets you to Milford in just 4 easy days walking. Don’t know why everybody’s in such a hurry these days. ***

    Rick, that may be fine for you. But there are thousands of Kiwis, and hundreds of well heeled tourists, who cannot walk, do not want to walk, but have just as much right to enjoy every bit of NZ as the dipshits in the Federation of Mountain Clubs, clutching at “say no” straws on TV One this morning. Selfish bastard.

    And then, because he and his she wolf were last night ambushing Palino (in the same way as he tried Key (ouch.. the slapping Campbell got is still visible) as are those administered by Bridges (similar to J Key)just wait until the disastrous Campbell / Mazda show tries their kill shot.

    I have not seen the Cons Dept recommended conditions. But if they are reasonable, and do not adversely impact the viability of the whole project, let’s get it done – before lunch time.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. tvb (4,210 comments) says:

    The Greens will oppose due to risks to the environment. The oppose all economic development on these grounds. The only development they do not mind is low intensity agriculture with weeds everywhere as no sprays can be used and stock full of Luce and other parasites because the oppose drenches. This will not provide much work so the rest are on welfare staying in night shelters as they oppose subdivisions.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. dave_c_ (215 comments) says:

    I agree with the chap on the TV this morning, who indicated he thought this would a death knell for all the current small tourist business operators spread across a larger area. This to me smacks of large corporate mentality which only has self serving interest in making maximum profit, at the expense of impacting others negatively.

    A very closed shop with no spin off benefits to anyone else – after all, tourists who use this monorail will be tied to packages requiring them to stay in the lodgings provided by the same operators !

    NZ tourism numbers in this particular area are not sufficiently large in number to warrant another (potentially) flakey enterprise – Have they even quantified the potential number of tourists preferring to use these new facilities

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    Flipper – I forgot to add the /irony tag :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Pete George (22,863 comments) says:

    Vague opposition – Too much at risk for monorail to proceed – Dyson

    The Fiordland monorail proposal puts too much at risk and should not go ahead, Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

    “The monorail will cut a swathe through significant areas of pristine beech forest and has the potential to lose the area its World Heritage status.

    “The conservation and economic benefits of this proposal do not stack up and it should be declined. It requires a huge investment with equal financial risk.

    “The wishes of locals have also been ignored. They have significant fears that the link will divert tourists away from an estimated 29 small communities potentially cutting off their economic livelihood.

    “Given the continued murky swirl around the disappearance of the substantive submission from the Department of Conservation opposing the TRIM water management in the Tukituki River, the recommendations of Conservation officials to support this proposal needs close scrutiny.

    “Conservation values, tourism, the security of our World Heritage status and the on-going viability of 29 towns are too important to sacrifice on a high risk private proposal. The monorail should be declined.

    Sounds like Dyson is just on the opposition bandwagon, there’s nothing of substance in this.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. KevinH (1,132 comments) says:

    The monorail concept is an exciting and innovative project which would provide access to this region for many tourists who ordinarily wouldn’t access this area. However Nic Smith rightly raised the question of the long term business sustainability of the project and that is are the projections accurate. Once installed the alterations to the landscape are difficult to remediate therefore the decision to proceed with the project has to have ahigh level of certainty that the project is financially viable.

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

    Those above who are pro the monorail and the tunnel should get out from behind their computer screens and go and experience the virgin beech forest that Riverstone Holdings plan on putting a chainsaw through, before making such bigoted comments.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    bushbasher

    Your presumption that many here do not spend anytime in the scrub shows you up as naive at best, a dork at worst.

    You sound like the Helen Clark type walker, spends three days a year walking loopy tracks accompanied by 18 TV cameras and thinks she’s Danial Boone.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Bushbasher can’t spend much time in the southern bush if he thinks beech forest is rare.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    Not being one of those walky types I think it’s brilliant news…..good to make money out of the “untouchable” resources.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    dave_c_

    I agree with the chap on the TV this morning, who indicated he thought this would a death knell for all the current small tourist business operators spread across a larger area.

    Oh, I dunno dave….The trampers will tramp & a couch potato like myself would actually consider going, ahem, “bush” if there were something like this to do the moving for me. It will enlarge the market, potentially everyone wins….there is always “collateral” damage when the business environment changes. People will just have to up their game.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.