Almost 20,000 people have so far signed a petition opposed to the controversial Fiordland monorail project.
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno and Save Fiordland chairman Bill Jarvie presented the details of two active petitions against the monorail proposal to Deputy Prime Minister and Clutha-Southland MP Bill English in Wellington yesterday.
There are more than 11,000 signatures on a hard copy petition and another 7000-plus signatures in a separate online petition.
Mrs Cardno said the proposal would cause "undeniable destruction" within the World Heritage Area.
"The Southland District Council is supportive of business development and investment but considers proposals should be on an even playing field where activities meet legislative obligations," she said.
Mr Jarvie said it was a "highly destructive" proposal and opposition to the project was increasing.
"This would be a kick in the face for New Zealand conservation values and the southern tourism economy," he said.
"The public need to be better informed and see through the empty words and propaganda."
It was hoped the final results of the petitions would be presented to Mr English within the next month, Mr Jarvie said.
The proposal includes a 41km monorail ride through 29.5km of the Department of Conservation's Snowdon Forest.
Earlier this week property developer Bob Robertson said he was confident he could raise $200 million for his controversial Fiordland monorail project but would need ministerial approval first.
Mr Robertson, who has been working on the project for more than 10 years, said New Zealand tourism and the region would benefit from the project.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith is expected to visit the area in November and make a decision on the proposal by early next year.
Another controversial proposal for an 11km bus tunnel called the Milford Dart, which would have cost about $170m, was turned down by the Government in July for environmental reasons.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.