Time for the Minister to start digging

/Time for the Minister to start digging
Time for the Minister to start digging2017-07-08T19:56:45+13:00

Press Release:

Time for the Minister to start digging

Invercargill, 24 February 2013

Federated Mountain Clubs is relieved that the new Conservation Minister, the Hon. Dr
Nick Smith, has started digging the Department of Conservation out of the hole it had dug itself into with
the Fiordland tunnel and monorail concession applications, says President, Robin McNeill.
“We are confident that the Minister will review the evidence objectively and impartially- and he will come
to the same conclusions we came to, that digging holes and building monorails in our backcountry are
bad ideas and that the process to date has been flawed”.
Mr McNeill was commenting on the announcement today that Nick Smith will now be the decision-maker
for the Milford-Dart Tunnel and Fiordland Link Experience concession applications that were being
processed by the Department of Conservation. Mr McNeill had suggested Dr Smith do this in a letter he
had written when Dr Smith became Minister of Conservation.
“Like many other New Zealanders, we have been puzzled why these applications haven’t been thrown
out already as they don’t stack up economically and they will wreck the world-famous Routeburn Track,
ruin cherished Southland family tramping areas, and invite international embarrassment through
diminishing UNESCO World Heritage Park status. On top of that, these concessions would be contrary to
statutory management plans that were derived from democratic public input”.
Late last year, Federated Mountain Clubs pledged $15,000 to take a judicial review against these
projects should they be approved.

For more information:
Robin McNeill
president@fmc.org.nz
(021) 516 366

Photo: Sue McKee, Hutt Valley Tramping Club – FMC is a sponsor of the Kea Conservation Trust

Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ, PO Box 1604, Wellington 6140, www.fmc.org.nz