Buller’s local government is set to debate whether a new road link between Westport and Nelson should be investigated as a means to boost tourism in its district.
The proposal to evaluate whether a 56km road running from Little Wanganui through to the Motueka Valley would be feasible has been backed by the Tasman and Buller mayors.
A discussion about the motion will be on the agenda at a Buller District Council this week.
“The council needs the facts before any emotional debate emerges, and if tourism is going to develop in Buller and contribute to Buller’s economic future to help replace its historical dependence on mining, we need a northern link road,” Buller Mayor Garry Howard said.
The road would largely follow the route of the existing Wangapeka Track through Kahurangi National Park.
If the proposal to investigate is approved, it would require environmental assessment, cost/benefit analysis and community impact reports to be completed.
Personally I am strongly opposed to cutting a road through virgin forest park, but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect.
The idea behind this road is that Wesport is dying. As their economy is mostly coal driven, and coal being on the way out, they’re looking at tourism as their saviour. But, the problem is that Westport and beyond is a bit on a dead-end road, so they don’t benefit from through traffic like Greymouth, and a lesser degree Hokitika. Read more »