Glenorchy resident Patricia Jantien Ko has started an
online petition encouraging the Department of Conservation
to decline a concession application for a Fiordland tunnel
by Milford Dart Ltd. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
An online petition started by a Glenorchy woman opposed
to the Department of Conservation granting a concession to
Milford Dart Ltd for its $150 million, 11.3km tunnel, has more
than 1000 signatures - just two days after it was started.
Patricia Jantien Ko launched the "Department of Conservation,
New Zealand: decline permission to Milford Dart Ltd to
construct the Dart Passage Tunnel" petition on Monday, which
said if Doc granted the concession to the company, Tourism
New Zealand's slogan of "100% Pure" would become "a worldwide
"The proposed plan violates the National Park Policy of New
Zealand saying that no new roads will be built in National
Parks," the summary on the petition page said.
"The World Heritage status of this region will be in
jeopardy, as a commercial construction will violate the
preservation and protection of special places for the benefit
"It will result in the loss of many nature-caring, discerning
international travellers and New Zealanders normally visiting
this region," it said.
Mrs Ko said on Tuesday the idea stemmed from a conversation
she had had with Doc hearings panel chairman Paul Green and
assistant Chris Visser, during the submissions hearing in
Queenstown last month.
When asked what she believed tourists wanted, she thought it
best if Doc actually asked tourists.
"I thought it would be really good for Doc to find out what
potential visitors to this region want. It's about creating a
tourist facility, but no-one has actually talked to the
Further, there were many domestic tourists who did not get an
opportunity to speak to their submissions, without travelling
to Queenstown or Te Anau to do so and, in some cases, the
"time-costly" nature of the submission process put people
off, she said.
"I wanted to give them the opportunity to have a say."
The petition had been supported by many overseas residents,
including people from Spain, Australia, the United States,
Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland and Holland.
The petition will stay open for about a week, at which point
Mrs Ko hopes to take it to the Doc decision maker, likely to
be deputy director Sue Tucker, for consideration.
Doc media adviser Reuben Williams, of Wellington, said on
Tuesday that because the formal submission process had
closed, the petition would not be counted as submissions.
However, "it doesn't mean it can't be taken into account",
particularly because of it being a petition.
MDL will present its response to the hearings panel tomorrow
in Queenstown, following two weeks of hearings split between
Queenstown and Te Anau last month.