Milford Dart tunnel opposition successful!!

The Minister Says No to Milford-Dart Tunnel !!!!!!

Nick Smith

Conservation Minister Dr. Nick Smith has refused to grant a concession to build an 11.3 km private bus tunnel from Glenorchy to the Hollyford valley.

The principal reasons for it being declined were identified by public submissions and SAVE FIORDLAND over a year ago.

MDL, the proposed developer has stated that it will not pursue the venture.

© Tremain

What’s it all about?

A private development company, Milford Dart Ltd, is seeking permission from the Department of Conservation to mine a major road tunnel through the Humbolt and Alisa mountain ranges, damaging irrevocably two precious National Parks in a World Heritage area with unique qualities and biodiversity.
 

Milford Dart Ltd’s exploitative plan is to mine an 11.3km single lane road tunnel, with an access road entering the tunnel near the start of the world-famous Routeburn track in Mount Aspiring National Park, and exiting the tunnel in the Hollyford Valley in Fiordland National Park, one of the most beautiful and unspoilt valleys in the world. Milford Dart Ltd wants to do this in order to make money transporting large numbers of visitors by bus between Queenstown and the world famous fiord Milford Sound via the tunnel; a route that will be quicker than travelling by the existing road to Milford Sound via the tourist town of Te Anau.
 

 

The plan is diabolical because it’s environmentally damaging. But it makes no sense on many levels. Read on for our top 10 reasons why it’s a terrible idea to dig a road tunnel through a World Heritage area and why we must all fight for the concession to be denied.

1. World Heritage and our National Parks mean the world to us.

They are meant to be protected for future generations. Read more...

2. You don’t dump in paradise.

Major mining projects like this result in spoil, noise and pollution. Read more...

3. The tunnel will cause permanent environmental damage.

Amazing forest and bird life will be disrupted, including kaka, kea, mohua and bats. Read more...

4. The process of approving the tunnel is flying in the face of “due process” and existing constraints.

There are management documents to be followed by the Department of Conservation to protect our wilderness. Yet, contradicting their content, DOC has granted initial approval for the tunnel and done so prior to public consultation. Read more...

5. The tunnel will destroy recreational enjoyment of the remote Hollyford Valley by trampers, hunters, fishermen, kayakers and boaties.

Read more...

6. We’ve already got a tunnel, thanks.

The road from Te Anau through the Homer tunnel provides a well-serviced route to Milford Sound. Read more...

7. The tunnel is not a sustainable public transport solution.

There are plenty of better options to reduce carbon miles between Queenstown and Milford Sound; such as park and ride schemes.Read more...

8. Queenstown is not the gateway to Milford Sound, so there’s no need to force through quicker routes between the two.

Te Anau, a beautiful township on the edge of Lake Te Anau, services visitors to Fiordland. Read more...

9. It just plain scares us.

Would you like to board a coach going in to an 11.3km single carriageway road tunnel in an infamous earthquake zone close to fault lines, and prone to landslips? Read more...

10. There’s not even an economic benefit to the local economy.

The construction of the tunnel will mean temporary work for some people. But conversely it will detrimentally affect the economies of tourist towns and villages on the existing road route from Queenstown through to Te Anau. Read more...

Click here to read more about our top 10 reasons

Click here to read our opposition to the monorail