Haast toll road discussed

Durham Havill
Durham Havill
"Interesting'' was all Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden had to say after a meeting in Queenstown yesterday with a deputation from Westland District Property Ltd promoting a 160km toll road between Haast and Hollyford.

The deputation, led by company chairman Durham Havill, has spent two days in the South, sounding out support for the road that would reduce travelling time between the West Coast and Milford Sound but potentially take some tourist traffic away from Queenstown and Wanaka.

Mr Havill said support from a meeting of about 60 people in Te Anau had been ''extremely positive''. Southland District Council members also met the deputation and Southland Mayor Frana Cardno said the road idea was likely to be on a council agenda early in the new year.

''I think council's quite positive about the road ... but we didn't vote on it.

''Certainly, there are quite a few people in Southland that are pretty enthusiastic about the road.''

Mr Havill has previously stated the Westland District Council company has a memorandum of understanding with overseas financiers for the $220 million needed to build the road. A toll of $20 per head would apply each way.