Board election bid to 'save Fiordland'
The fight to "save Fiordland" will be made official when nominations and elections are held for the Save Fiordland Board at a meeting in Te Anau tomorrow.
Southland Mayor and Save Fiordland member Frana Cardno said the elections would allow the group to constitute itself formally as a society.
The formation of a board would give the group a mandate to operate as a legal entity, raise money and hold a bank account, Mrs Cardno said. "This is about formalising the fight and taking it to the next level," she said.
The Save Fiordland campaign had received overwhelming support from Southlanders as well as from people across New Zealand, which had heartened the group in its efforts, Mrs Cardno said.
Mrs Cardno said she did not intend to hold an official title on the board but would look to fill the role of "chief stirrer".
Save Fiordland spokesman Rob Krausz said the board would consist of 15 elected members, with subcommittees formed to share the workload.
The board and the subcommittees would be strengthened by the diverse group of people committed to influencing Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson's decision to grant concessions to the development of a tunnel and monorail in Fiordland, he said.
Following the visit of Ms Wilkinson on July 4, the group was disappointed Deputy Prime Minister Bill English did not meet members to discuss the proposed developments during a flying visit to Te Anau two days later, Mr Krausz said.
"Save Fiordland was extremely disappointed that Mr English, the local MP and deputy prime minister made an unannounced visit to Te Anau last Friday, and neglected to even notify the group that he was coming," Mr Krausz said.
"At least the Minister for Conservation [Kate Wilkinson] had took the time to listen to the community."
The Southland Times