A report commissioned by Environment Southland considering
access options to Milford Sound is flawed and of no use,
Southland Mayor Frana Cardno says.
The report used publicly available information and considered
12 proposals to access the tourist destination, regardless of
whether they were active or inactive.
The Sky Trail Gondola, first proposed in 2001 and no longer
active, scored the highest of the 12 options against criteria
such as overall tourist experience and long- and short-term
impacts on the environment, with the controversial Fiordland
Link Monorail and Milford Dart Tunnel coming in third and
Ms. Cardno said the report was ''misleading and
inappropriate'' because not all information used was up to
''Something as important as this should have gone through
something far more robust and been put out there for public
The report lacked detail and input from key stakeholders such
as the Southland District Council and surrounding councils,
''I think if you're going to do this, it's got to be more
Environment Southland policy and planning manager Ken Swinney
earlier told the Otago Daily Times the report was to
inform Environment Southland's transport strategy.
Ms.Cardno said despite that, regional and district councils
worked together on such issues.
''We are all part of that [access to Milford Sound].''
Milford Dart Tunnel director Michael Sleigh claimed the
report did not have any credibility since it was funded by
Venture Southland and reviewed by Venture Southland, ''who
were opposed to Milford Dart''.
''I would be pretty cross if I was a Southland ratepayer; if
I'd been funding this report [which will] really only
potentially benefit a few Te Anau businesspeople,'' Mr Sleigh
He was not surprised by the fifth ranking of the Milford Dart
Tunnel option ''because of the people who prepared it''.
''If it were done on a much more credible basis, by
independent people, the result would undoubtedly be
A spokesman from Riverstone Holdings Ltd, the proponents
behind the Fiordland Link Experience, said the company could
not comment until it had read and understood the report.