Both the monorail and tunnel projects would tear through the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. This is designated as such due to the overwhelming wild and unpopulated landscapes of the region, dense in native flora and fauna.
World Heritage sites belong to everyone, forever. “Heritage is our legacy and an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration.”[UNESCO]. Once they have gone, they have gone forever.
New Zealand is obliged to protect this heritage, and its Department of Conservation is obliged to preserve our National Parks and conservation areas and required to follow its management plans, such as the Conservation Management Strategy and the Fiordland National Park Management Plan, prepared in consultation with interested groups to preserve our wilderness.
The monorail and the tunnel contravene these obligations. The monorail would tear through Snowdon Forest Conservation Area which is in the World Heritage Area and managed by the Department of Conservation as a “remote visitor setting” to protect its natural and historic resources. While Snowdon Forest Conservation Area itself is not in a national park, this doesn't mean it shouldn't be. Large areas of New Zealand are currently conservation areas only, and not national parks, purely because they have yet to be categorised as national parks. But the important factor here is that it is not only within conservation and public owned land, that belongs to all the people of New Zealand, but also within a World Heritage site of international significance.
The tunnel would go through two National Parks; Mount Aspiring and Fiordland.
To compromise any part of the World Heritage area simply for commercial profit, is unequivocally inappropriate and shocking.