Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They Just Don't Want to Share or See The Potential

Once again we are discussing expanding the tourism opportunities of Fiordland National park by investigating a road or rail link from the N/W end of Lake Wakatipu where the Rees and Dart rivers enter the lake to Milford Sound crossing the Holyford River opening up another small area of the largely hidden National Parks. Glenorchy  the proposed start point for many of the proposals is at present well served by an upgraded road and the SS Earnslaw.

At present the "tourist trail travels south from Queenstown into Northern Southland then back N/W to Milford through Te Anau. It begins and ends in Qtown

Not for the first time this idea has been raised and again a concerted chorus of opposition is making noise in an attempt to deny progress for nearly as many nefarious reasons as there are squeals.

Te Anau has never caught the imagination of the present 'Trail' as by and large nearly all just pass through only pausing to relieve themselves.
Those with the means eg money for a helicopter,  the fitness to walk or  mountain bike, want to for some reason that escapes me  to exclude the rest of us real and potential tourists from any roads or the now suggested railtrack through tunnels, across rivers and through native bush and deny the opportunity to view that spectacular scenery to the mobility constrained New Zealanders and tourists from the world.

Fiordland National park plus Mt Aspiring National Park, both are involved, total over 1.6 million Hectares and this current proposal wont total more than say 300 Ha, little more than .02%.
 How does the rail corridor of the "Transalpine" impact as visual pollution compared to the thousands apon thousands of Hectares it makes available for viewing as a jewel in the crown of Kiwirail, albeit largely financed by the dreaded coal trains without the income stream of which,  would go the way of all other branch lines.

Others argue we will lose the world heritage status of Fiordland National Park, bullshit to that, there are already roads, tunnels, a hotel and tourist activities including walkways such as the iconic "Milford Track" complete with sandflies, what difference will a separate rail system matter.

It is called progress I remember when the fertile productive farmland of the Te Anau Basin was just seemingly endless acres of dead manuka scrub, killed by a blight, and it was as exciting as the endless gumlands of the Australian "bush". It is today another example of progress for the betterment of us all but it involved "change".

Te Anau wont necessarily die as many will travel the rail and return by bus or vice versa, The nimby obstructives should see the half full glass, accept that Milford Sound with its rainfall, land constraints and seismic threats,  will always be a day trip for most and figure out how to market the additional options of  Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri, the glowworm caves, Deep Cove and Doubtful Sound to get the daytrippers that churn through on a day trip from Queenstown, leaving only effluent,  to stay over and see some more of what is a unique and very precious scenic adventure.
We are still discussing less than .5% of the total area  of the freekin parks.


Anonymous said...

you are no geographer. these are U-shaped valleys. a road destroys a huge area, no simply 0.2%. if you can't (or more likely can't be bothered, as is the case with the target tourist market) walking, then stick to the cities, rather than expect able-bodied folk to pay for your spectating.

i don't mean disrespect, but facilitating access that will destroy the experience for the people who live there and for the people who look after themselves physically to be able to appreciate a natural world heritage wilderness area seems more than a little unreasonable. this is not just a NIMBY fringe, this is 100% of the local community (including tourist businesses) who have invested in a livelihood. To treat this as something to be a spectator of is remarkably lacking in imagination.

good debate tho.

Ben T

Paulus said...

The objectors are stalling for time to allow the incoming inevitable Labour/Green coalition time to stop everything.
Forget any progress in this country in the forseeable future - the objection to anything that moves will be stopped. The Farmer is the new scum to the Greens, and should be put out of business.

Anonymous said...

sorry GD, i wasn't suggesting that you specifically could be bothered walking over to Holliford. I was meaning the several thousand big-arsed chain-smoking tourists that the developer is expecting to pay back this private investment in a public space...

Ben T

Anonymous said...

btw, i think all the farmers are against this too, and have a pretty good relationship with the users and Greenies.

Although Ngai Tahu may have a different view, with a competing project.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a good idea. It is not simply a case of not being bothered to walk or tramp the region as some of us just do not have time to linger. A very sound proposal which sought to build a road from haast to the Eglinton Valley along the Tasman coast was wiped away by some fear-mongering Greens a few years ago. Why lock land up when it is afterall a National Park and not an area preserving exclusively for eco-loons?


Anonymous said...

not sure hunters, skiiers, climbers, bikers, and other potentially deep-pocketed Park users are eco-loons.

Time is money, so why not maximise their commitment and milk 'the resource' if you want to take an investment approach to the region? that way you don't also kill the goose that lays the golden eggs...

if you don't have time to linger, well, too bad i reckon. watch Lord of the Rings or something :)

Ben T

Rosy said...

This was discussed for several hours yesterday on Newstalk ZB talkback. Most callers in favour of all the options. A few naysayers, but overall a big tick to enterprises which can show off more of our wilderness areas to much larger numbers of tourists (including New Zealanders).