Families View on Monorail

Family Concerns over Monorail Destruction

Family picknics Upper UpukeroaThe Snowdon area is well used by families wishing to introduce a remote back-country experience to their children. With its near year round accessibility and easy walking terrain, the Kiwi Burn track offers families, from young children to grandparents, an opportunity to get out and enjoy the wilderness together.

Whilst Fiordland provides many remote experiences for experienced and skilled trampers, the Kiwiburn is regarded as a treasured wilderness for families. If a monorail were built through it, this area would lose its remote backcountry appeal and with it, future generations of family enjoyment.

We see it as your children’s birthright to enjoy this area as it is now. Untouched.


Main concerns

The key concerns for families using this area are:

  • The loss of wilderness in this unique family-orientated backcountry area. Families cannot enjoy a ‘remote’ experience beginning at a visitor terminus and passing alongside a track of concrete beams and monorail trains.
  • The construction (if ever completed) would last for a number of years. The road will carry the heavy trucks and excavators throughout those years. The road would be continued to be used for maintenance trucks and heavy machinery.
  • The monorail and associated construction/maintenance road will break open the forest, destroying the basic qualities that now exist. The swathes of the forest clear felled for the monorail and road will be visible as they cut around the faces.
  • The dozing of a road through the forest and river valleys has attempted to be sweetened by it being promoted as a mountain bike track. Indications that a commercial operation related to the principal concessionaire have been made.
  • Even with the proposed re-routing of the tramping track and the relocation of the Kiwi Burn hut, the nature of the entire area will be fundamentally degraded.

And why was DOC's own independent landscape audit not used in their Officer's Report??

"There is no doubt that the visual and landscape impact of the Kiwi Burn terminus, the displacement of the Kiwi Burn hut and walking track, the effect of the monorail carriages 'flying' through the forest, the presence of the construction road/mountain bike track, the monorail passing along the Upukerora flats will be very significant. It is concluded that the SBEL (RHL commissioned) landscape report does not provide a thorough, rigorous and defensible assessment of landscape impacts.
There is no doubt that this proposal would significantly compromise the outstanding natural values of the landscape and the the "landscape integrity" of Snowdon Forest Conservation Area and the Te Wahipounamu South Westland NZ World Heritage Area."

Stand up and say "No!"

Now it's time to stop the monorail; take action!