New Zealanders speak out against Fiordland Monorail
Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s announcement that he is still considering granting a concession to a land developer behind the Fiordland monorail proposal has rekindled public anger over the proposal, Save Fiordland Inc said today.
Expressions of disbelief that a Minister of Conservation could possibly countenance such a destructive development through a World Heritage Wilderness had come from throughout New Zealand and overseas. One poignant message, directed at Nick Smith, came from a regular Norwegian visitor expressing his sadness at how New Zealand is squandering its beautiful and stunning wilderness.
‘More and more people are pledging support via the Save Fiordland website and Facebook page’, Chairman Bill Jarvie said. ‘Many people had been sitting back watching, but now that it has got to this point they are making themselves heard – loud and clear. The proposal would mean tens of kilometres of forest clearance for the elevated concrete rail line and a permanent parallel road. Remote river valleys would be ruined in perpetuity.
If the Minister had had any doubt over the feelings of the majority of New Zealanders, he shouldn’t now. I’m sure that this support will continue to build.’
Save Fiordland is particularly heartened by the comments from these prominent New Zealanders:
"Sadly, there are fewer and fewer undeveloped natural areas such as the Mavora Lakes and the Snowdon Forest and I would like to think that these areas can be passed on unspoiled to our children and their children."
Andris Apse NZOM
“Our National Parks and World Heritage Areas were created to protect and preserve the beauty of our country for all New Zealanders - now and in the future. They should not be subject to the whim of Government or the will of business enterprise. If we don’t conserve our natural heritage - we will lose it!”
Sir Peter Jackson ONZ KNZM
“We love and cherish our remaining protected natural landscapes, and places as special and pristine as the route of the proposed monorail must never be given over to industrial tourism. Its home to our threatened species like the yellowhead and long-tailed bats, and that alone is reason to save it, but its World Heritage designation speaks volumes about our international responsibility to protect it. New Zealanders and overseas visitors love our wilderness ... in this day and age after so much loss of wilderness worldwide its madness to destroy more.“
Craig Potton NZOM