Do they never learn?

NZ Herald

Is someone going to have to go down to Invercargill and play the monorail song to the fools wanting to run one through Fiordland:

Fiordland National Park is at risk of being turned into a theme park if a proposed monorail through the Snowdon Forest goes ahead, a hearing in Invercargill was told yesterday.

Riverstone Holding Ltd wants to build the $150 million, 43km monorail from the Kiwi Burn entrance near Mavora Lakes to Te Anau Downs.

The Department of Conservation has indicated it will approve the concession, subject to public submissions.

All 19 submitters at the hearing, chaired by Graeme Ayres, opposed it.

Reasons for the opposition were destruction of ecological values, natural remoteness and solitude and the adverse effects on recreational use of the area.

Hunter Glen Dean said the monorail would destroy pristine natural areas which were easily accessible but still felt completely remote.

“This is a wilderness area that’s accessible to, in particular, locals, and this monorail concept is not something we want. I despise turning our conservation land into a theme park like Disneyland.”


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  • Agent BallSack

    So DOC will approve a 43 kilometre Monorail but not a kilometre square open cast mine that would have saved the lives of 17 miners? Nice priorities.

  • Kthxbai

    What is DOC thinking of?  FFS this part of Fiordland is already infested with organized tours of sightseers already contributing nothing but damage and poorly handled effluent.

    This will be a total disaster for a pristine area.

    Someone should check with Kai Tahu, they gifted the land to the nation.  I doubt they’re as stupid as the local wide boys.

  • Pete George

    The proposal is nothing like a Disney theme park. 

    There is a huge amount of wilderness area throught that part of the country, the monorial would affect only a tiny part of it, and impact less than existing roads.

    There has to be a reasonable balance between retaining natural features and accessibility. A controlled and contained mode of transport is one of the lowest impact means of providing access.

    • jackwhite

      rubbish,that is why certain areas of nz beauty are set aside to try and stay as close to how they were first discovered.A monorail what the fuck are these people thinking not preservation……MONEY

  • Cadwallader

    So, it is OK for a blind person to drive an automated car but not for a disabled or elderly person to enjoy the wildnerness from the comfort of a modern train? I don’t get this.

    • Agent BallSack

      Or they could catch the train over Arthur’s Pass perhaps?

      • Cadwallader

        ..but when they’ve done that? If a wolderness is locked up for “future generations” isn’t that a burden on the unfortunate future generation which again confronts these issues? I think managed access to all parts of the country ought be encouraged and relished.

      • Pete George

        Arthur’s Pass is about as far from Te Anau as Auckland is from Wellington.

        People don’t go to Wellington to see the view from the Sky Tower.

  • Vlad

    This would be a blight in a beautiful wilderness.  So it is a little difficult to access parts of the wilderness? Good, so it should be.  And in any case, travelling the existing roads in an airconditioned bus or car is hardly a gruelling experience and is available to anyone, even the elderly and disabled.  The objections, on every ground from environmental to economic, were well-argued & sensible.  The Simpsons song is perfect!    

  • Duncan

    Is there anywhere in the world where a monorail has been run through a pristine wilderness area? Not a loaded question by the way.


    In a word DOC,Wankers.


    reply to kthxbai

     No use talking to Ngai Tahu as they are the people planning to build the Monorail. In a statement

    to the Christchurch Press in March 2005 they threatened to take the Government to court ” to
    enforce its customary right to carry out economic activity within South Island national parks including
    a gondola development”


  • @BoJangles

    The Snowdon Forest is not in the Fiordland National Park.  Its nor-east of lake Te Anau. 
    Probably a re-growth forest too.

  • Pete George
    • Kthxbai

      Thanks for the link, I will now have to eat my words, most of this isn’t prime conservation land but country that is already in pretty shoddy shape and being farmed.  And the road just goes from Wakatipu down the existing Mavora Lakes Road, then tunnel through the edge of the forest only, ending up in (cough) fabulous Te Anau Downs.

      map here:

      I confess to  having imagined a route straight over from the Routeburn/Dart area to the Key Summit region, which would have been criminal.  Withdraw and apologise.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Don’t give a shit what they do, as long as the TAX payer isn’t subsidizing it now or ever.

    • jackwhite

      really you dont give a shit what they do..??? blobby some of your other posts indicate like living in clean green nz what next down there a fucking macdonalds on the track

    • Philip ure a cock

      Really? The government is supposed to own and run every commercial enterprise in New Zealand these days. Don’t you read Red Alert man!
      (*sarcasm* by the way)

  • Dave

    They’re different down there, its Southland.  They have concrete mixers, mayors last over 25 years, free polytech courses, and nothing is ever their fault.   Its always a politician or Wellington that ruins it for them.   And, they don’t care a hoot for the environment, I have been to many a hosted party there where they dine on “traditional rights” seafood and game.    Just wait for DOC in WGTN or the minister for the Environment to can it, it will be all doom and gloom there again.

    PS.   There is also a MonoRail going free in Sydney, just rip it down and make the damage good.  

  • Rolla

    Cameron have you ever been to Milford Sound, the jounrey from Queenstown in a bus is horrible, long, and extremely boring for the most part.

    This is only the latest in a long list of proposals to shorten the journey to Milford Sound, and to remove the peak crush in Milford Sound, when all the busses arrive at once.
    In fact a lot of the other options, such as the gondola proposal years ago, were better, but as they weren’t proposed by Ngai Tahu, they never got to the hearing stage, as Ngai Tahu voiced loudly that they wouldn’t let them go ahead.
    Now they are involved its a different story.

    Cameron you need to stop taking the media’s views on issues as gospel, and find out what the locals think, and no not just those ones who run cafes in and other tourisim operators in Te Anau.

    • Gazzaw

      Rolla, I agree with you. The impact on the wilderness will be absolutely minimal and if NZ wants to keep its tourism industry in growth mode this development is essential.

      There was a similar uproar in North Queensland a few years back when the gondola was proposed from Cairns to Kuranda through pristine rainforest. The development went ahead and has been lauded worldwide as an eco-tourism triumph. Not only has it opened up the rainforest to almost every sector of the populace (not just the hard out trampers) it has also taken away huge pressure on the roading from Cairns to Kuranda which in turn has reduced the toxic runoff from the roads into the rainforest during the wet season.  

      Not to proceed with this project is a no-brainer. Done properly this could become another NZ ‘must do’ on the world tourism stage.

      • Mighty1

         I agree  Gazzaw, got it in one.  The environment needs to be available to everyone not kust the hard outs with heaps of time on their hands.  Wilderness needs the support of as many people as possible to survive.

  • Cadwallader

    I am in favour of opening up tourism in Fiordland. The mono-rail is only the latest idea and not necessarily the best. The proposed highway from Haast to Milford via Lake McKerrow and the coast  was an interesting alternative, but it was rejected due to greenie fears.

  • kehua

    Let it happen , the bloody place is all rain,fog and sandflies and outrageously priced  lousy accomodation and food.

  • thor42

    Given the choice between having a humungous number of buses sitting at Milford Sound spewing diesel fumes into the air, or having a monorail go there, I’d tend to favour the monorail. 

  • Vlad

    What a lot of crap about the trip being long and boring.  I first went there when it was a gravel road and a real expedition through the tunnel in my dad’s overloaded ford prefect. A wonderful experience through beauty that even I could appreciate as a kid.  Make it hard, make it a challenge, make it worthwhile.  This is a beautiful area, there is not a single extra cent to be made by building disney monorails (which will flop economically anyway).  This is unique; charge more if you have to, that is a rational option.  


    I go with the Monorail idea, Great way to see the park with zero eco footprint.  Its much better than having people trekking through spreading their shit and rubbish wherever they go. 

    Its far better than trekking on foot which has introduced and spread Giardia in forest waterways.  In Northland tramping on foot has managed to spread phytopthora fungus which is killing the remaining Kauri Trees.

    What a great way to expand tourism and the economy of the lower South Island.

    • Gazzaw

      You forgot the didymo and the verro mite that were probably introduced by trampers, anglers or backpackers. No footprints, my arse.

  • Peter Wilson

    Hopefully the monorail would reach far into the real wilderness areas of Fjordland, so that city dwellers can appreciate the remoteness and isolation as well.

    I understand construction will be starting on April 1st, next year.

  • Greg M

    I am 100% in support of it. It will save millions of dollars not having to rescue people that should not be allowed in the bush unattended.