OPINION: Given the strong support in principle for the Haast-Hollyford road expressed by most of those present at Monday night's presentation by Durham Havill, I wonder how many will head off to their bank managers or investment advisors saying they want to invest in this proposal?
If they were to, I am sure their banker and financial advisor would see the situation somewhat differently to the impassioned deliverance of Mr Havill and the way in which it was soaked up by the majority. Instead they would most likely say:
- At $20 per head it would require just shy of 370,000 people to travel the road each year for 30 years just to repay the $220 million construction cost. (That's more than 1000 people a day, every day, for 30 years.)
- What about road closures? (Mr Havill conveniently ignored the fact the Hollyford Road has been closed for around eight weeks this year at the same time as the Haast Pass road has been closed by a slip).
- What are the estimated maintenance costs over those 30 years? (Again, not mentioned nor factored in).
- What is the estimated rate of return on the cost of construction and ongoing maintenance? (Yet another issue not mentioned nor factored in).
Mr Havill needs to go away and produce a proposal with all the information, facts and figures. It should also be independently audited by the likes of Infometrics. If it all stacks up, then it might be a proposal worth considering.
At the moment it is only Mr Havill's dream, delivered with passion but little substance!
- The Southland Times