Save Fiordland Society Incorporated
A recent business report revealed that around 75% of New Zealand's exports are reliant on our "clean green" brand and yet the reality is very different from our image. We are amongst the poorest for environmental monitoring and pollution controls in the OECD, 80% of our lowland rivers are polluted and our per capita carbon emissions are amongst the highest.
It is our largely pristine and untouched national parks that underpin our clean green brand and Fiordland's Milford Sound provides one of the most internationally recognized images of New Zealand.
It appalled and horrified me when the department charged with protecting our national parks would grant initial approval to two private proposals (bus tunnel/monorail) that would irrevocably change the natural values of Fiordland if they were to proceed. Not only will the environmental damage be substantial but the external costs for roading upgrades will be considerable as would the negative impacts on regional economic development.
It was heartening to witness the establishment of an incorporated society, "Save Fiordland", in Te Anau on Sunday. With Professor Sir Alan Mark as the founding patron and representation from local government on the executive, this society intends to do all that is possible to protect a national treasure from inappropriate development. For the sake of our nation and my children's future, I wish the society every success.
It was great to have Green MP, Eugenie Sage, take time out from a Queenstown conference to speak to the society and share her extensive knowledge.