OPINION: Aaron Nicholson is a member of a significant family tourist business in Manapouri.
He does a job trying to promote Fiordland to visitors by attaching rather famous Tolkien names to peaks.
Unfortunately, those peaks, at present, don't need names.
He now attacks the proposed Haast-Hollyford road and I disagree with some of his issues.
He asks what the numbers are. They are huge. I went up the West Coast before Christmas, and tourist numbers were impressive.
''Dangerous, inhospitable part of the country'' is rubbish.
I have recently written that the route is straight, flat, avalanche- free and lower cost to build than any West Coast or Fiordland road.
I have walked half, looked down from the Red Hills, and visited Jackson Bay-Cascade from the other end.
I have also worked on road construction, drilled and blasted rock, have a licence for road machines on track or wheels of any size.
There are no poor people who cannot afford food, except those who feed the kids only on pay day and drink the rest.
I have met tourists who were rather cross that they hadn't been able to carry on from Haast to Milford.
I have known people who nearly didn't visit New Caledonia because you can see roads only a quarter on one coast and three- quarters on the other.
The map alone can lose New Zealand tens of thousands of dollars per couple. The new map will help the economy.
Don't be a nuisance, Aaron.
- The Southland Times
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