the article is about putting a road through a high value scenic conservation area in a national park wiping out a classic and great tramping track..
thats the problem with all the proposals that have come up with putting new roads through to the west coast, they are going through high value scenic conservation areas, another was proposed on the heaphy and another on the hollyford, and a mining company are one of the backers and its an area near a lot of mineral resourses, people were claiming that was the reason for getting the approval for the road, they'd just build it to where the minerals are and go after the mining rights, or sell the rights to build the road to another company for a quick buck.
part of the problem is the people wanting to build a road dont give a stuff where the road goes and what they wipe out building it... i'm not against the west coast having more roads, I'm against where they want to put the roads, and what they'd be wiping out.
and its doubtful they've done their sums about what the roads will really cost, and what they'd cost to maintain... worse than building a road is building a white elephant. that was a reason nick smith declined two commercial developments down south, one a road tunnel under the routeburn and another the worlds longest monorail, i thik up to 40km long,, because he felt that the developers wold run out of money before they ever completed them and all that would be left was a big industrial mess that they had no money to clean up.... its a massive undertaking putting any new road through an area like that, nz struggles to keep up with its roading requirements even in geologically easy areas , let along across south island mountains.
the govt have created a problem in allowing massive no's of tourists in that put existing roads under a lot of pressure, they need to invest in safe roads that can handle the traffic, or moderate tourist no's, with out population, we'll never have the money to make west coast roads truly safe for drivers who arent used to difficult windy hilly roads where it rains a lot... building more roads isnt necessarily going to be the answer. and building them through quality conservation land isnt a good answer either, destroying the landscape that the tourists are coming to see...
This post has been edited by the author on 11 June 2017 at 16:39.
The atypical tourists I was referring to above are long distance cyclists. They have included a woman on her second circuit of the world, a couple who had completed 210,000 km by the time they reached me, many who have cycled here from Europe and a family with boys aged 5 and 7 on a 6,000 km ride since successfully completed. The boys were fully involved in all aspects of their trip, including pedaling.
Many of my cycle guests were surprised at the costs in NZ, especially of food. They found the remote areas more crowded and polluted than they expected. They get to see the litter along the roadsides and the deposits of sewerage at picnic and informal camping spots.
I am strongly opposed to building new roads in the mountains for a range of reasons including but not limited to environmental. I mentioned some of the non-environmental concerns above, concerns that may carry weight with West Coast residents. For example, few residents will be keen on new tourists roads if it is at the cost of the local roads they need to go about their business. These roads can not be lightly abandoned.
We can not afford to maintain the present network of roads. Supplying potable water, disposing of sewerage and collecting and disposing of rubbish is also expensive in a far flung region with a small permanent population. To date, proposals for charging tourists extra fees and the recent extra funding from central government fall very far short of requirements. The costs and benefits of tourism fall unevenly.
A final matter to consider is the dislike of Coasters to outsiders telling them what to do. Subtlety is needed.
well cyclists see a different part of nz, if they dont get off the main highways thats what they will see, there are various tourist routes that are now crowded with tourists, if you get off those tourist routes. you can get away from the crowds.