Wednesday 23rd March 2011
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Blackfish Ltd, the owners of Porters Ski Area in Canterbury who have development plans over 10 to 15 years that will create 1000 jobs, today welcomed a decision by the Director General of Conservation, Al Morrison, to approve in principle a land exchange agreement.
Under the proposal, DOC will exchange about 198ha of leasehold conservation land in Crystal Valley in return for a 70ha block of coastal lowland forest. Blackfish will also surrender 320ha of leasehold land in the Porters Valley to DOC.
"Long term access to Crystal Valley is critical to the success of the Porters Ski Area expansion and this decision also preserves conservation values. This is important to us, as we understand our role as custodians of the environment," said Mike Sleigh, director of development at Porters Ski Area Ltd.
"Freehold title is critical to this project progressing. This decision gives investors confidence and certainty to move forward," he said.
Porters is an hour's drive from Christchurch International Airport and offers the longest vertical run in the Southern Hemisphere. The owners want to construct a $500 million on-mountain alpine village used by 300,000 skiers a year, creating 1000 full time equivalent jobs for Canterbury.
Morrison said had informed Blackfish that subject to a number of conditions being met, he had agreed in principle to a land exchange proposal put forward by the company.
DOC was still negotiating terms of the final agreement with the company and would be releasing further details of the agreement once a final settlement was reached.
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