With the odds overcome, Manapouri's Ruth Shaw was overjoyed
at yesterday's Government decision to refuse the Fiordland
''There's a lot of fights but not many wins,'' the
environmentalist of 50 years said.
Ms Shaw was among a small group of people from in and around
Te Anau who gathered at the Olive Tree Cafe in the centre of
the small town to await the decision by Conservation Minister
They danced, they hugged and there were even whispers one
might change their vote to National. As soon as word came the
minister had said no to the monorail, the mood inside the
Dentist Rex Forrest finished treating a patient before
joining the celebration next door.
With relief, he said, ''Well done, Nick Smith''.
''They [politicians] don't get a lot of praise but I think he
will certainly get a few toasts tonight.''
There had been a common reaction from tourists in town in the
past two years, he said.
''They couldn't believe that we wanted to spoil this [area]
by putting something from Disneyland in a World Heritage
The National Party's new Clutha-Southland candidate, Todd
Barclay, said he travelled to Te Anau especially for the
He sat among those gathered at the cafe and - luckily for him
- the decision was what they had hoped for.
Members of the Save Fiordland Group, which had fiercely
campaigned against the monorail, raised their glasses of
Central Otago wine in a toast soon after the decision.
Between hand-shaking, hugs and congratulatory calls, group
chairman Bill Jarvie said the minister's reasoning for
declining the monorail was based on issues the group had
raised ''from the start''.
Mr Jarvie said one issue had been separating ''believability
''People were told of the big sleek green thing not touching
a leaf but in reality it bore no resemblance to that.''
Ms Shaw's tears of joy illustrated the passion of a small
The Save Fiordland committee member said while there were
many conservation fights, wins were hard to come by.
''It's been two years of hard work but it's paid off.''
Cafe owner Leona McCracken said having a final decision felt
A petition against the monorail had been sitting in the cafe
collecting signatures, and to Ms McCracken the decision had
been a long time coming.
''It was the only logical outcome,'' she said, adding
tourists would continue to visit Te Anau.
Manapouri's Claire Maley-Shaw said jobs would have been lost
in Te Anau if the monorail had gone ahead. The Te Anau
kindergarten teacher said the refusal was ''just fantastic''
not only for Te Anau but ''all the little communities between
here and Queenstown''.