29 September 2013
Poll reveals public supports Fiordland Monorail
A public opinion poll has this month confirmed more than twice as many New Zealanders support the development of tourism infrastructure like the Fiordland monorail than are opposed.
“The Fiordland Link Experience is designed to be a world-class tourism experience. It’s really encouraging that the public recognises the significant benefits it will bring to New Zealand despite some misinformation spread by a small group of vocal opponents,” says Bob Robertson, Director of Riverstone Holdings Ltd.
The Curia Market Research survey found that 58% of New Zealanders supported the development of the monorail outside of National Park land. Only 27% opposed it. When broken down, the results showed there was more support than opposition regardless of gender, age or political leanings.
The Fiordland Link Experience is a $170 million investment in tourism that delivers visitors via catamaran, off-road vehicle and monorail to the boundary of the Fiordland National Park, without travelling through it.
It would bring hundreds of jobs to the region and be backed by a multi-million dollar international marketing budget that would help to attract tens of thousands of additional tourists to New Zealand and inject millions of dollars into the wider economy each year.
“There is good awareness of this project across the country and the level of support shown reflects what we know anecdotally. It reinforces our belief that we’re on the right track,” says Mr Robertson.
“Our aim is to be a model of eco-friendly, sustainable tourism. We have refined our proposal during eight years of consultation with the Department of Conservation to ensure the route showcases scenery of great beauty without entering any wilderness areas or land classified as remote.
“A significant amount of work has been dedicated to the route design, construction techniques, mitigation, rehabilitation and potential conservation projects to make sure its environmental impact is minimal. Environmental integrity is our number one priority. The Fiordland Link Experience is as much about the journey as it is the destination. We want to show off our backcountry and deliver on the 100% Pure NZ promise to visitors.”
A NZ Herald Digi-Poll published in July found New Zealanders were perfectly split (46.2% each way) when asked whether they supported both the monorail and the Milford-Dart Tunnel, two separate and vastly different projects. That result surprised opponents of the tunnel who attributed it to the fact the monorail had wider backing, which drove support levels higher than expected. This latest poll would appear to support that view, as the tunnel has since been declined.
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