World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby punkture on Sun 15/Jul/12 8:00pm

If you've kept in touch with the news over the past few months you may have seen people protesting against developments in Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks. DOC have given initial consent for to private transport applications to proceed. This is crazy. It is basically giving private business rights over a World Heritage Status area for private gain.
Check out these pages and get informed. Both the Milford Dart Tunnel and the Fiordland Link Monorail will have major irreversible effects on recreation opportunities and the flora and fauna.

Check out the links below. If you think that these developments will set a dangerous precedent and are akin to mining in National Parks sign the petitions.

http://www.facebook.com/SaveFiordland

Tunnel petition:
http://www.change.org/savemiddleearth/
Monorail petition:
www.change.org/petitions/stop-plans-to- ... itage-area
Last edited by punkture on Mon 16/Jul/12 2:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
punkture
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby phunk on Sun 15/Jul/12 8:07pm

Does that mean they will allow bikes in there too? If so, im for it.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby punkture on Sun 15/Jul/12 8:55pm

phunk wrote:Does that mean they will allow bikes in there too? If so, im for it.


The Te Anau Cycling club has had multiple meetings with DOC, and the Southland Conservation Board and is working hard to get the wording changed in the Fiordland National Park Management plan to allow bikes in the National Park. We are hoping a trial period will be given for bikes on the Kepler and Holyford tracks in winter. Another goal is to have the Kiwi Burn track from the Mavora Lakes upgraded so it is suitable for biking. This would make for a great off road adventure from Lake Wakitipu. If the Monorail goes ahead there will be no Kiwi Burn track any more. Just a bull dozed road and adjacent rail line.
Don't think you'll be biking through the tunnel.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby great uncle bulgaria on Sun 15/Jul/12 10:36pm

Links failing there punkture

any better ones?
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby punkture on Mon 16/Jul/12 2:59pm

great uncle bulgaria wrote:Links failing there punkture

any better ones?


Tunnel petition:
http://www.change.org/savemiddleearth/
Monorail petition:
www.change.org/petitions/stop-plans-to- ... itage-area
punkture
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby phunk on Mon 16/Jul/12 3:21pm

The only argument in your post seems to be against private businesses or something, are there any actual risks involved with this?
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby Yogi on Mon 16/Jul/12 3:41pm

phunk wrote:The only argument in your post seems to be against private businesses or something, are there any actual risks involved with this?


I haven't clicked any of the links that punkture has posted, but as the thread title says, one of the main concerns with development is the effect it'll have on the areas World Heritage status. From what I hear UNESCO is very strict when it comes to this status. Loosing it would probably not be such a great thing for tourism.

In terms of the monorail development, other concerns would be effects on wildlife caused by creating a corridor through the bush. This corridor could act as a barrier to smaller invertebrates and restrict their movement, act as a highway for introduced predators in an area that is currently naturally difficult for them, and the cleared land could allow weed plant species an opportunity to establish and get a foot hold. The moving monorail itself could pose a risk to native birds through bird strike, and I'm not entirely sure about how monorails work but I imagine risks such as fire would dramatically increase in the area.

I'd like to hear more about the tunnel though and what potential effects it would have on the area.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby Yogi on Mon 16/Jul/12 3:57pm

Reading the Tunnel Petition it's very vague on the actual negative effects.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby punkture on Mon 16/Jul/12 4:34pm

Yogi wrote:Reading the Tunnel Petition it's very vague on the actual negative effects.


http://www.glenorchycommunity.co.nz/tun ... -download/
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby Yogi on Mon 16/Jul/12 4:58pm

punkture wrote:
Yogi wrote:Reading the Tunnel Petition it's very vague on the actual negative effects.


http://www.glenorchycommunity.co.nz/tun ... -download/


So for the tunnel the only real environmental concern mentioned comes from leachate from the tunnel spoil due to potentially inadequate disposal. How does this tunnel spoil leachate differ from any other mined aggregate used for roading, etc? The main concerns then remain for what will happen to the World Heritage status and the social and economic costs to communities relying on the current Milford road route and those that will experience increased traffic over the new route.

It's pretty stink on communities when their lifestyle is disrupted but will the overall benefits outweigh the costs in the long term?
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby punkture on Mon 16/Jul/12 5:48pm

Yogi wrote:
punkture wrote:
Yogi wrote:Reading the Tunnel Petition it's very vague on the actual negative effects.


http://www.glenorchycommunity.co.nz/tun ... -download/


So for the tunnel the only real environmental concern mentioned comes from leachate from the tunnel spoil due to potentially inadequate disposal. How does this tunnel spoil leachate differ from any other mined aggregate used for roading, etc? The main concerns then remain for what will happen to the World Heritage status and the social and economic costs to communities relying on the current Milford road route and those that will experience increased traffic over the new route.

It's pretty stink on communities when their lifestyle is disrupted but will the overall benefits outweigh the costs in the long term?


The environmental effects of increased bus numbers in Glenorchy, including noise and air pollution is also of concern. And this is also the case for the Holyford Valley, one of the last true wilderness roads. 15 years of construction equipment, including fuel, fumes and noise would be rather significant. The reason that it looks like there are no other significant environmental effects is because the Milford Dart proposal has not given the full detailed engineering and building plan! There could be huge environmental affects on the Holyford if avalanche control and snow clearing such as is carried out on the Milford Road was needed to keep it open in winter. And what happens if the company runs out of money half way through, or is affected by flooding or even major earthquakes? It is Fiordland.

But besides these, surely the greatest single environmental effect of this proposal is the precedent that would be set by allowing it to go ahead. It contravenes the National Park Management Plans and the whole reason national parks were created.If it can go ahead then other applications for development will be more likely, such as a Gondola in the Greenstone Valley. I do not know the details but it is purported that a clause exists in DOCs agreement with Nghai Tahu about allowing the Gondola to go ahead if other developments do.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby Richie_D on Mon 16/Jul/12 6:20pm

I think there are a couple of points worth noting.

1/ If we were just looking at a major project we could have a haggle over the environmental impacts and how we could mitigate them. We do that all the time for highways, bridges, wind farms and dams. This one is a bit different because it is modifying a National Park, land that previous generations decided to protect in perpetuity. When you decide to hack into a bit of perpetual protection you want to think hard about it.

2/ People did think hard about it. The Fiordland and Mt Aspiring NP Managemernt Plans are both less than 5 years old and were only developed after long and tiring debate, consultation and rigorous decision making. Both plans said that this kind of development shouldn't happen.

3/ If you were still keen on modifying the National Park(s) you'd want a pretty good case for it.

What are the benefits to NZ as a whole?

It is basically a chance to divert traffic off a public road (the long way around) on to a private road and capture a rent from that. It's not going to generate any additional tourism, and in fact it might harm it. Afterall there are plenty of nice mountains in the Northern Hemisphere that have tunnels through them. They're OK to look at/visit but not a patch on the NZ mountains for outdoor recreation, hence 000s of tourists travel to NZ to visit places that are unmodified. I think the World Heritage Status is recognising this.

So I don't see any benefit to the public from giving up this public land, and associated public values but what are the costs?

Well, a neat little tunnel that the owners can use to capture a rent would be fine if it was on their land, but here the public loses big time as the Route Burn and Hollyford Valleys get further modified. So NZers lose two special valleys and don't really get anything back in return. Bearing in mind we already chose to trade-off the Eglinton, Upper Hollyford and Cleddau to provide road access to Milford Sound.

4/ Finally, if you're not really into tramping/climbing but I like cycling, it'd be worth keeping an eye on this one anyway, because some people are pretty keen on a Collingwood to Karamea road via the Heaphy.... and once you decide to build one pointless road in a NP.......

cheers

Richard Davies
(Federated Mountain Clubs President)
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby thorg on Fri 20/Jul/12 9:20am

National Parks are some of the least protected forms of reserves in this country, legislatively speaking.

That they become NP is a political decision, not one based on biodiversity values, or any other for that matter. If biodiversity needs protecting, then making an area a NP is the worst form of protection available - so lets not pretend that our NPs have been put in place as some form of safe guard to protect the environment, because that isn't the case. NP are there to allow (encourage and foster are the words used) use - not to protect from use/damage.

Currently in the central north island we have a world heritage area with 2 ski fields (and all the associated lifts, club houses, roads, cafes etc) privately owned and making money (when enough snow falls). So having a large environment damaging private business in a world heritage zone doesn't appear to bother them too much. I doubt a monorail would be seen much differently.

We also have had, and continue to have, private huts etc scattered all over the conservation estate - private and exclusive use of protected areas is not new - nor is it ever likely to go away.

Any use causes damage. Only scale changes. So we want to keep keep (and build more) tracks for 'our' use, because we deem the damage 'acceptable'. Cyclists wanting to build new tracks (or get access to existing) often have to fight the 'but you do DAMAGE!' brigade, and we argue that
A) our level of damage is acceptable, and
B) the benefits outweigh the cost/loss

Same thing here, only difference is scale. Every environmental argument being put forward here against the monorail has been used to fight against MTB access. The business argument and private use argument is just a red herring - it happens all the time, everywhere, this would just be one more place (so not the thin end of the wedge etc, - nor is it likely to effect world heritage status if past decisions are anything to go by).

Every time we as mountain bikers put in a new track, we are (potentially) destroying someone elses paradise. Sometimes our paradise gets destroyed.

Isn't democracy wonderful. If enough people want it, it will happen. Or conversely, if enough people don't rally against it, it will happen.
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby ryda on Fri 20/Jul/12 12:43pm

So in simple terms you are saying it would be hypocritical for us to oppose these issues?
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Re: World Heritage Status Could Be Lost!

Postby thorg on Fri 20/Jul/12 1:14pm

No.
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