Forging ahead with Haast highway plan
The man behind the planned Haast-Hollyford highway hopes to begin applying for consents by the end of the year.
Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd chairman Durham Havill said he was asking the West Coast communities for feedback before approaching Southland District Mayor Gary Tong to discuss the project.
"I would like to think we'll have it wrapped up by Christmas and start applying for resource consents."
The process had been slowed by a dispute with Land Information New Zealand over a road which once appeared on maps, but had been removed, he said.
He was waiting on community feedback before approaching Tong so that he could prove the road was needed on the West Coast.
Tong said the council agreed to the proposed road in principle, but needed more information before he was willing to put that in writing.
"We're waiting for the full proposal ... we've got to protect the ratepayer," he said.
There were many people in Fiordland interested in the project, both in support and opposed, Tong said.
Havill said the road would be paid for by Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd, with a budget of $250 million.
People travelling on the road would be charged $35 per person.
Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd would own and maintain the road for 30 years, when they would hand ownership to the Westland and Southland District Councils, he said.
If the councils chose to retain the toll, it could create a revenue of $30.74m for Southland District Council and $22.6m for Westland, he said.
The Southland Times