Three representatives from the Glenorchy community will
present a petition against the Milford Dart Tunnel to Deputy
Prime Minister Bill English in Wellington this morning.
Glenorchy resident and Stop the Tunnel group spokeswoman
Trish Fraser said the group thought it would be more
effective to present the petition, which contains 25,000
signatures, on the steps of Parliament rather than in
Glenorchy or Queenstown.
"We met with Bill English in Queenstown the third of August
and we were going to give him the petition then, but we had
decided to come up to Wellington and he agreed," she said.
"We really want to bring the argument north."
Mr English would deliver the petition to the Clerk of the
House with the hope it would be discussed at a select
The trio had also opted for a formal presentation, at 10.30am
today, rather than an organised protest, and the only people
they had rallied in the capital were politicians.
"We're meeting with different politicians and different
parties ... we want to update them and make sure they are all
aware of the issue and where their party sits on the issue
and where they can help us."
Having met Labour MPs previously, yesterday they met National
MP Eric Roy and were due to meet members of the Green Party
later in the day.
They had also hoped to meet Conservation Minister Kate
"Kate has refused to see us; we sent a letter to every
politician and got a reply from the Minister's [Ms
Wilkinson's] PA saying that the Minister could not see us
because it was going through the Doc process.
"She was one of the main reasons we were going up [to
Wellington]. We're not very impressed."
Ms Fraser said while members of Stop the Tunnel supported its
Fiordland equivalent, Save Fiordland, in its efforts to stop
the proposed monorail near Te Anau, the focus of the
presentation today was to educate people and stop the tunnel.
"The tunnel is going to have a huge impact on Glenorchy as
well as the national park ... our energy is focused on the
tunnel and it's requiring enough energy just to do that."
The petition has garnered 25,000 signatures since it was
created online by Glenorchy woman Patricia Ko in mid-April.
Early last month, Ms Wilkinson visited Te Anau, where she met
protesters against the proposed tunnel and monorail, both of
which would shorten the route to Milford Sound.
She announced her intention late last year to grant
concessions for both proposals, but she has not said when a
final decision will be made.