Now they want the Wangapeka
"The business case for a proposed road linking the Nelson region to the West Coast, slicing through Kahurangi National Park, is expected to be released this month. Reporter Jonathan Carson decided to walk the proposed route, the Wangapeka Track, to experience the paradise at risk of being paved." http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/nz/93406768/paving-paradise-the-case-against-building-a-road-through-kahurangi-national-park Is there no end to their wilful stupdity?
Saw that too. Roads through everywhere. That ain't Conservation.
they are only pushing this road because, the same people failed to push for a road through the heaphy track, so they found a less popular area to plug their road
I wonder what the real logic is. Are there any adjacent coal mines? We need to keep any eye out for these hair brained schemes. They will keep pushing scheme after scheme until we get tired of fighting and they get their very own road through xparadise.
even if any of these roads got built, they'd end up as white elephants due to the maintenance costs. theres a reason why there are so few roads that go across the south island mountains... a fortune is being spent on keeping haast pass and the manawatu gorge slip free , and then theres the kaikoura coast rd.... if theres no major commercial value to the road, they won't throw money at it forever
Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. As the article says "We have to remember why tourism has become the country's top export earner, and it's not because of our roads" A connecting road won't attract more tourists TO the north-west; it will enable more tourists THROUGH the north-west. Don't build a road, put the money into world-class conservation / environmental projects that bring tourists to the region and engage them, involve them, inform them. They will stay longer, spend more and feel great having contributed to valuable projects.
Difficulty of access and the lack of roads has been a concern to European settlers in New Zealand from the very earliest days. Travel was very difficult before roads and bridges were built. Such concerns continue in some minds today, especially on the West Coast where roads are equated with progress. The road may not make economic sense in the present circumstances but the hope is that increased economic opportunities and jobs will follow the building of the road. Meanwhile, local communities struggle to maintain the already existing roads. Central government does not fund local roads many of which are in decline with foundations and bridges needing replacement. Southland District Council has been quite up front in discussing the issue warning that some roads may need to be abandoned and the funds diverted to upgrading tourist roads used by often inept foreign drivers who are unable to drive to the conditions. Tourism is a fickle business. Fashions change and numbers are affected by political, financial, safety, health and other concerns. Many of the jobs are low paid, part time and seasonal. Foreign companies operating here work hard to retain as much of their customers' payments as possible . They minimize their expenses in NZ by driving hard bargains and minimizing tax payments. According to many of the tourists I meet (an atypical subset) New Zealand is crowded, noisy and expensive. The golden goose has been over worked and is ill. It is necessary to understand why some people want more roads if such roads are to be effectively opposed. Their concerns are legitimate even if a new road may not be a solution.
"It is necessary to understand why some people want more roads if such roads are to be effectively opposed. Their concerns are legitimate even if a new road may not be a solution." Very well expressed. When I first read the news item I have to say I was just too disappointed to feel anything more than deeply peeved. But you are absolutely right, effective politics is about understanding the other side's concerns and being able to engage them. "According to many of the tourists I meet (an atypical subset) New Zealand is crowded, noisy and expensive" Whereas Bhutan which strictly limits tourism and charges very high entry taxes is not. NZ has gone down it's typically lazy, unsophisticated path of 'extractive' economics ... mining the resource, in this case the Conservation estate, as if it were limitless. Well it damn well isn't. I've nothing against tourism, but we really need to start thinking about how to drive it as a quality industry that delivers a brilliant experience to our visitors and real benefits to the people who live here. This road is a very low quality contributor to that goal.
Which subset of tourists are YOU meeting?? "Crowded, noisy and expensive"??? Expensive, yes, but the rest? Seriously: WHICH tourists are you talking about? And as for closing roads that are almost never used to focus on ones that are frequrnted far more often simply makes sense. I'm sorry guys. I really am. I agree that putting a road through to the West Coast isn't the best thing to do. But some of your arguments in support of maintaining road status quo throughout the South Island is, frankly, weak to say the least, possibly more accurately described as emotive BS.
"It is necessary to understand why some people want more roads if such roads are to be effectively opposed. Their concerns are legitimate even if a new road may not be a solution." I've not thought much about this lately but to put a probably ignorant devils' advocate position out there, what's the case for subsidising and supporting people living in remote places? (This is going to sound mean, but I hope it's read more as an effort to understand stuff better.) I get that people like to live there, and want to be self-sustaining. I bet many people living in cities and more accessible rural places would prefer to live in smaller and isolated communities if there were an economy that could support them, but they don't because there largely isn't. Not that the west coast didn't used to be self-sustaining in a sense. The rest of NZ already paid $120m in 2000 (around $175m in today's money) to compensate for logging to be stopped. Maybe mining's going the same way, especially with the changing global attitude to fossil fuels. Was $120m not enough compensation for stopping the logging? Did it go to the wrong places, and is that part of the problem that it's not allowed to continue of the the major industries that it was built on? I guess I'm just wondering about the clear argument for building state-sponsored infrastructure to manufacture, if not just divert, a tourism industry for what seems to be a primary reason of allowing people to live in a place that's less efficient than if they lived elsewhere. If the tourism juggernaut is mostly a marketing thing as it seems to be in modern times, and if resulting majority of tourists merely want to come to NZ to see some kind of token expression of lakes and trees and stuff without necessarily knowing or caring where they are, do they need to go to the West Coast to feel satisfied about having done it? Or is that just an inefficient way of getting a maximum spend out of them whilst they're here, which subsidises people wanting to live in an isolated place at everyone else's expense?
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