Tunnel 'would turn Milford into Mordor'
A pristine trip to Milford Sound would have to be rebranded "a visit to Mordor" if the Milford Dart tunnel is allowed to be built through the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, the Green Party says.
Green Party conservation spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said in Parliament this week the proposed Milford Dart Tunnel, an 11.6-kilometre, $150 million commercial bus tunnel linking the Routeburn road and the Hollyford road, near Te Anau, would turn a pristine Middle Earth into Mordor.
Ms Sage made the comments when she used question time in Parliament to criticise Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson for failure to take responsibility for the final decision on the proposed tunnel.
The concession application has been handed to the Conservation Department, with a decision maker - DOC operations deputy director Sue Cosford - appointed by the minister.
Ms Wilkinson said concessions under the Conservation Act were normally decided at departmental level.
This would ensure the process would be free from interference, whether political or otherwise, she said.
NZ First MP Denis O'Rourke raised concerns that projects like the tunnel encouraged large-scale low-employment operations that profited only a few wealthy investors.
Ms Wilkinson said she was more concerned that proper process was followed.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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