The Hollyford Track showing the area where the proposed
Hollyford road would go near the Pyke River, between Lake
Alabaster and the Hollyford River. The view is towards the
south, towards Mt Madeline (2537m), the second highest peak
in the Fiordland National Park. The proposed road would run
left of the river. Photo by Hollyford Track Guided Walk
A Ministerial report has "killed dead" the proposed $315
million Haast-Hollyford road, Forest and Bird Society national
advocate Kevin Hackwell said yesterday.
Mr Hackwell now hopes "somebody would put a big fluorescent
note on the filing cabinet that the Haast to Milford route is
a waste of time, so we won't have this idea pop up in another
The Ministry of Economic Development has advised its
minister, Gerry Brownlee, the road might only tweak New
Zealand's existing tourism product, would not give the
tourism industry a new point of difference, would not
constitute a nationally significant tourism development and
might be in conflict with the 100% Pure New Zealand brand.
Officials from the economic development ministry and the
tourism ministry "briefly considered" the proposal "from a
tourism economic development perspective . . . based on
information currently available".
The name of the report writer has been withheld under the
Official Information Act.
"In our view, the proposed [road] would address some of the
current issues with access into Milford Sound . . .
"While the road would enhance New Zealand's existing tourism
product, it would be more of the same product that we
currently offer, rather than shifting tourism up the value
"Given the scale of investment and noting current fiscal
pressures, the proposal would have to be weighed against
other proposals in the tourism area, such as convention
"There are other options for addressing Milford Sound access
and isolation issues.
"These proposals include private initiatives, where
government's role would be to address barriers to access,
rather than providing direct funding," the report states.
The report was written in January.
Mr Brownlee provided it to the Otago Daily Times last week.
He said he had not known it had been completed and was in his
office at the time he made supportive comments about the
proposal to this newspaper in January.
Mr Brownlee said then significant support was needed before
he would promote it to Cabinet, but he believed the proposal
was being more actively considered than at any other time in