The company behind a second proposal linking Queenstown
and Milford Sound could have a decision on the project's future
by the end of the year.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith has already rejected a
proposed tunnel from the Routeburn Rd in Mt Aspiring National
Park to the Hollyford Rd in the Fiordland National Park.
Dr Smith's press secretary Rachael Bruce said yesterday the
minister hoped to make a decision on the monorail proposal by
either late this year or early next year after visiting the
area, possibly in November.
Riverstone Holdings Ltd has proposed to build a 43km
monorail, 29km of which would be through conservation land,
from Kiwi Burn, near the Mavora Lakes, through the Snowdon
Forest, to Te Anau Downs.
The $150 million proposal, named the Fiordland Link
Experience, would also include a catamaran trip across Lake
Wakatipu and an all-terrain vehicle journey to the monorail
terminus at Kiwi Burn.
In July, Dr Smith declined a similar-priced proposal from
Milford Dart Ltd to construct an 11.3km commercial bus
Riverstone Holdings Ltd director Bob Robertson has previously
told the Otago Daily Times the country needed two or
three ''significant tourism adventures'' to be developed, or
risk ''slipping further down the OECD chain''.