What people say about the monorail

Below are extracts from just a few of the several hundred public submissions opposing the monorail during the "consultation" by DoC in 2012:

I would like to put in my submission AGAINST the proposed Monorail, I am a keen hunter and do not want to see the beautiful bush ruined by an ugly Monorail and all the structure that would come with it! I like to take my sons hunting and fishing in this area and would like to take my grandchildren in years to come to the same UNSPOILED area!

I have hunted and tramped along and around the proposed route for the last 40 years and have introduced my children and many friends to this very area.

Allowing the monorail to go ahead will mean a very significant scar on our heritage forest.

Snowdon forest is a very peaceful place. The whole reason I go there is to get away from it all. If I saw a monorail it would be like going back into civilisation, going back into town. I wouldn’t want to go there anymore because my reason for going there would be ruined.

I am concerned that if you grant this concession it will open the door for any other roads and tracks to be built through conservation land. How would you be able to say no to another proposal if you have already said yes to this one?

We are concerned that the effects on us as local users of the areas affected have not been taken into account. As locals we use not only the great walk tracks such as the Routeburn track and other tracks in the Kiwi Burn area but we also venture much further, using routes in the side valleys and along the high tops for tramping and hunting. We are active in the Parks all year round, not just during the tourist seasons. Our experiences in this area will be completely ruined by the building of a monorail. There will no longer be a “getting away from it all” experience.

With lives getting busier, schedules getting fuller, places where fathers can take their sons to shoot their first deer or catch their first fish in shorter time periods are getting harder to find.

Places like this are what makes being a Kiwi so great and makes us the envy of the world.

It is a thinly disguised and selfish “fun ride” that the applicant wants to build on public land, destroying public conservation values in the process in the hope they can make a bit of profit themselves.

If this monorail is built it will destroy my favourite hunting area.

I note with some concern the restrictions this will put on a lot of people including myself and friends who use this area for hunting and tramping in this part of the park.

Putting a monorail through these wild areas will create theme park tourism of the worst kind, it would be a (McDonalds) drive-through wilderness experience.

I’ve tramped through this area and I very much enjoyed the quiet, the solitude and experiencing the beauty of it all. I do not want this habitat and the experience to be destroyed for the sake of an unnecessary and intrusive monorail.

I would like to think that when my son has a son old enough, he too will be able to introduce him to this part of our country without having to explain to him what this wonderful area used to be like before a “greedy few” changed it irreversibly.

And now for something completely different...

While people who object to the monorail genuinely love the natural and precious area through which it would run, other people who prefer man-made constructions may well consider the monorail an "attraction". No surprise that this includes Mason & Wales, the architect firm that works for Infinity Investments, the company behind the monorail. Mason & Wales designed the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club houses in Canterbury for Infinity Investments; an environment of sweeping lawns a world away from the native forest and birdlife of Fiordland. This is what Francis Whitaker, Mason & Wales director, said in his consultation response:

"I have travelled extensively in Australia, North America and Europe and have experienced boat trips, gondola rides, visited Art Galleries, Historic Buildings, and such attractions as the London Eye and Eiffel Tower. It is my view that the Fiordland link is likely to be a better experience than those attractions, and could well become one of the world’s best day trip experiences."

It may come as a surprise to Mr Whitaker that members of Save Fiordland have also travelled extensively, and been in the occasional art gallery and on a few fairground rides too, and we have never seen anything like our beautiful Fiordland that we are so desperate to protect.