Sharechat Logo

Smith rejects $180 mln Dart tunnel proposal, cites environmental impact

Wednesday 17th July 2013

Text too small?

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith has rejected a proposal to build a $180 million tunnel in Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks by a company aiming to halve travel times for the 420,000 people that visit Milford Sound each year.

The five-metre diameter, 11.3-kilometre long, one-lane bus tunnel was proposed by Milford Dart Limited to run between the Dart Valley, adjacent to the Routeburn Track, through to Hollyford Valley.

"I am declining this tunnel proposal because the environmental impacts are significant and beyond what is appropriate in two of New Zealand's most spectacular National Parks and a World Heritage Area," Smith said in a statement.

"This is a significant decision and I have given it a great deal of thought and consideration," Smith said. "I have met the applicants, studied the major reports, sought thorough advice, visited the site, and weighed up strong views of both the supporters and opponents."

The proposal was rejected because of the impact of 500,000 tonnes of tunnel spoil on the natural and landscape values in Hollyford Valley, the impact of new roads, especially on visitors at the entrance to the Routeburn track and because the plan was inconsistent with the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Park Management Plans, Smith said.

Milford Dart had presented an alternative proposal for a longer tunnel further to the southeast to Smith last week but the minister said he hadn't received any technical advice and there was insufficient information to make a decision.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Transpower sees no risk to credit metrics from incentive change
NZ dollar rises, an outlier amid rising Gulf tensions
Craigmore spends $32M to expand Kerikeri kiwifruit crop by 'more than a third'
CentrePort eyes further hub expansion
South Port beats guidance, earnings in line with 2018 record
Plexure sees revenue growth from White Castle deal
22nd July 2019 Morning Report
NZ dollar treading water as markets focus on Iran
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares extend gain as passive funds bolster prices; Tourism Holdings climbs
NZ dollar headed for 1.3% weekly gain on expectations of a Fed rate cut

IRG See IRG research reports