FMC is praising the Pike River Mine families’ proposal for land surrounding the site of the mine tragedy to be added to the Paparoa National Park as a permanent memorial to the 29 people that lost their lives.
FMC President, Robin McNeill, cannot think of a more appropriate solution. The Paparoa Range is a rugged and beautiful crest of limestone hills that rise above the Tasman Sea, and because of its ruggedness, is one of the places that may be home for any surviving South Island Kokako.
Mr McNeill is in no doubt that a proposal to reclassify the Paparoa Range South Conservation Area, which includes the hills surrounding Pike River and extends over the Paparoa Range to the coast near Fourteen Mile Bluff, at the same time as Pike River would be widely supported.
FMC strongly endorses the other developments mooted. “The Punakaiki Visitor Centre urgently needs upgrading, for the stories it tells and the services it provides are central to the visitor experience of the Punakaiki coast”. The Great Walk proposal has much merit and FMC will be very interested in the results of the feasibility study that DOC undertakes.
Mr McNeill urges all parties to keep an open mind about the walkway. “It may be that including the Pike river site is not in the long term interests of the community- a walkway from Blackball to Punakaiki, making the most of the existing route of the Croesus crossing, may be as fitting a memorial to the men”, he concluded.