Director appointed to drive Milford plan project

Chris Goddard
Chris Goddard
Another step forward has been made in the Milford Opportunities Project with the appointment of director Chris Goddard.

Project board chairman Dr Keith Turner said he was excited to work with Mr Goddard, who had an extensive business background.

Mr Goddard lives in Tarras and he and his wife, Donna, have a consultancy business focused on culture, management, labour supply and merger and acquisition support.

He has a background in mining and project management.

Dr Turner said Mr Goddard was well versed in engagement with government, diverse communities and the general public.

"The delay in finding someone for this job has been worth it to get Chris in the role. He will drive this project forward, and I am sure he will build a strong team around him to do that.

"It would have been easy to choose one of New Zealand’s many tourism experts but this stage of the work demands strong project management and business acumen.

"We must think differently if we want to get a different result to the status quo. Chris brings that different perspective and importantly that drives him to listen to and understand stakeholders.

"Our board has tourism expertise he will be leveraging to connect with local and national tourism expertise to deliver a pragmatic but different result."

Mr Goddard will report to the board, and will lead a team of specialists to carry out stage 3 of the project, the business cases for the recommendations in the project’s master plan.

Mr Goddard said he was thrilled to get the role because he believed in what was being proposed for Milford Sound, the Milford road, Te Anau and the surrounding region.

"This role enables me to be part of a project that will be nationally and internationally important," he said.

"It is going to be challenging and a lot of hard work, and I am looking forward to getting going."

His plan was to work with stakeholders across the region.

"Working with Ngai Tahu and stakeholders, including local communities and local businesses, is essential," he said

The project’s master plan, launched in Te Anau in July last year, makes recommendations to government and stage 3 is about developing the business plans to make those concepts reality.

Some of the recommendations include the removal of the runway at Milford Sound, a ban on cruise ships at Milford Sound and an international visitor fee.

The project began in 2017, after concerns about the rapidly growing visitor numbers in Milford Sound were raised by the Southland District Council and the Department of Conservation.

Numbers peaked at 870,000 visitors in 2019, up from 430,000 in 2013.



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