DOC monorail support sparks opposition surge
A group opposed to plans to run a monorail through parts of the south has experienced an upsurge in support after the Department of Conservation threw its weight behind the $200 million plan.
Save Fiordland chairman Bill Jarvie said he had received numerous emails and phone calls since the announcement, and people were really backing the cause to see the proposal canned.
"The interesting thing has been the number of people who have contacted since the announcement [on Wednesday]. We have had a huge upsurge in Facebook."
Many people still believed the project would ruin New Zealand's reputation and hurt the tourism industry, he said.
But it was not just individuals backing their cause, businesses had also supported the group, he said. The businesses - he would not name them - were from both New Zealand and overseas.
To have more people supporting the group was a bittersweet reaction to the announcement, Mr Jarvie said.
He said the project was "killing the goose that laid the golden egg".
However, the final decision on the project lies with Conservation Minister Nick Smith, who has inspected the route and looked at reports prepared by DOC.
Mr Smith axed a separate bid to build a bus tunnel between the Routeburn Rd and Hollyford Rd by Milford Dart earlier this year.
While the tunnel project caused him "great unease", the monorail proposal was outside the national park except a small area at Te Anau Downs.
The route does not run through Fiordland National Park but is partly included within the Unesco Te Wahipounamu world heritage area and the Snowdon forest.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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