Introduction

Public hearings for the Riverstone Holdings Limited monorail concession application will begin next week. Hearings in Te Anau will begin on Monday 2 April 2012 and will begin in Invercargill on Tuesday 3 April 2012.

Date:  30 March 2012

Public hearings for the Riverstone Holdings Limited (RHL) monorail concession application will begin next week.

Hearings in Te Anau will begin on Monday 2 April 2012 and will begin in Invercargill on Tuesday 3 April 2012. 

“The hearings are an opportunity to be heard for those who have submitted and expressed interest in presenting their submissions to the Representative of the Director General of Conservation” said Department of Conservation (DOC) Southland Conservator Barry Hanson.

Submissions closed on Monday 19 March 2012 with a total of 315 submissions being received since the intention to grant subject to a public consultation process was notified in December last year.

Approximately 27 submissions are in support of the intention to grant the concession and approximately 288 oppose the intention to grant.

Approximately 80 submitters have requested to be heard.

The Representative, who will act as the Hearing Chair, will be Graeme Ayres. Once hearings have concluded, Mr. Ayres will prepare a summary of all submissions and make a recommendation to a decision maker who will be a representative of the Minister of Conservation.

The decision maker will then take into account the matters raised by the public which can be considered under the Conservation Act process and will then make a decision on the application accordingly.

Before it can proceed with the plan, RHL will also require appropriate resource consents from local authorities. Local and territorial authorities will run their own consent processes to assess the proposal against the Resource Management Act.

See full details of  DOC’s intention to grant a concession for RHL.

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Background information

  • Hearing details (subject to change):
    • 9.00am Monday 2 April 2012; Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas, 64 Lakefront Terrace, Te Anau
    • 9.30am Tuesday 3 April 2012; 3rd Floor, Cue on Don, 33 Don Street, Invercargill
    • 9.30am Monday 16 April 2012; 3rd Floor, Cue on Don, 33 Don Street, Invercargill
    • 9.00am Tuesday 17 April 2012; 3rd Floor, Cue on Don, 33 Don Street, Invercargill
  • DOC is charged with considering the proposal in terms of the land it manages and to determine whether the activity is consistent with the relevant Conservation Management Strategy. Other wider environmental issues and community concerns will be dealt with during the resource consents required from local authorities.
  • DOC initially examined the environmental impact of the proposal on the land it manages, along with independent expert advice and RHLs agreement to minimise any environmental impacts from the proposal. DOC formed the preliminary view that, with appropriate conditions the impacts of the proposal are acceptable. However the outcome of public consultation will be taken into account before taking a final decision on whether to approve the concession.
  • The application is for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a monorail which would run from the Mararoa River (near the Mavora Lakes Road) for approximately 29.5 km through the Snowdon Forest Stewardship Area to the Milford Road at Te Anau Downs.
  • A construction track would be constructed parallel to the monorail. RHL propose this construction track would remain in use after monorail construction, for monorail maintenance and mountain biking opportunities. Where the monorail leaves public conservation land (and crosses private land to come out on the Milford Road) a separate mountain bike track will be constructed by RHL to complete the cycle track route to the Milford Road.
  • Two termini buildings (and associated parking and access roads) are proposed, one on public conservation land (marginal strip) alongside the Mararoa River, the other being on public conservation land held as part Fiordland National Park at Te Anau Downs.
  • Construction of the monorail and construction/mountain bike track would require the clearance of two separate linear features through the Snowdon Forest Stewardship Area, representing a total clearance of approximately 22 ha of forest habitat and 4.35 ha of non-forest habitat, and associated effects, on public conservation land.

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Contact

Reuben Williams (DOC) 
Ph: 027 257 2216 or +64 4 471 3139

See also:

DOC’s intention to grant a concession for RHL

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