Prevent Construction of Transportation Network through New Zealand’s Protected Wilderness

te wahip

Target: New Zealand Transportation Minister Gerry Brownlee

Goal: Prevent the construction of a transportation network through protected wilderness.

The Fiordland Link Experience in New Zealand is a project lead by Riverstone Holdings Ltd. to create a multipurpose travel point encompassing boat, bus, and monorail systems. Unfortunately this planned system intends to take its monorail route directly through the Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

This would considerably mar a landscape sufficiently pristine as to earn World Heritage Area designation. The land clearing necessary to create this monorail path would involve the destruction of virgin forest land that has remained untouched for hundreds of years. This is entirely unacceptable and runs completely counter to New Zealand’s efforts to bill themselves as the environmentally sound choice for tourism– going as far as to use “100% pure” as the nation’s tourism slogan.

With this newly created excursion experience taking longer than the existing road path, it seems entirely foolhardy to proceed. The estimated two hours of exchange time between the various transportation types wrecks any efficiency that might be gained in the roughly three-and-a-half hours of actual travel time.

The Te Wahipounamu is far too important to allow this to happen, with the region containing podocarps (a coniferous plant) that can be as many as eight-hundred years old, as well as several rare and endangered species.

Among the especially vulnerable animal life are the takahe, a large flightless bird, and the kea, the world’s only known alpine parrot species.

These animals have seen their habitat dwindle to critical levels and deserve to have what little remains protected to the utmost. It is with this in mind that I urge you to lend your voice in asking the New Zealand government to forgo its plans for The Fiordland Link Experience,or devise an alternative path that does not require the destruction of protected wilderness.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Brownlee,

The Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area is a pristine stretch of wilderness along southern New Zealand’s western coast. This region is home to several rare and endangered species such as the flightless takahe bird and the kea, the world’s only known alpine parrot species.

These animals are just the beginning of Te Wahipounamu’s status as an environmental treasure; however, as it is home to coniferous podocarps that can be as much as eight hundred years old. These comprise the old growth of a forest that has remained nearly untouched for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately this region is being threatened by a development project. This project, known as the Fiordland Link Experience, is a multipurpose travel point encompassing boat, bus, and monorail systems. The monorail aspect to the project is the chief culprit in this instance, as its path is set to cross through the protected area.

The creation of this monorail path would involve the permanent destruction of much of Te Wahipounamu’s virgin forest not only causing severe harm to the land, but also threatening several species of animal that are already suffering from loss of habitat.

This is unacceptable for a travel route that will not even serve to shorten travel time. The estimated two hours of exchange time between the various transportation types wrecks any efficiency that might be gained in the roughly three-and-a-half hours of actual travel time.

Because of the wildlife destruction it will cause and the lack of any tangible benefit,  I urge you to cancel the Fiordland Link Experience project before it causes irreparable harm to the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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