Director’s update

Kia ora koutou 

First, a big thank you to all of you who have dropped into the Milford Opportunities Project Hub, talked to us in Milford Sound Piopiotahi, in Te Anau, Invercargill, Queenstown and those further away who called and emailed. 

With more than 1000 engagements so far, in this phase of the project, your help is appreciated and more importantly vital for feasibility testing the Milford Opportunities Masterplan.  With less than 20 weeks to go options are coming together quickly for the business case.  The benefits to recreational visitors, international visitors, communities, businesses, and others are important to get right, underpinned by realistic costs and timeframes.  These give ministers some robust choices when we deliver the report at the end of June 2024. 

I ran into a few of you last week when I was taking some people into Milford Sound Piopiotahi and had a great opportunity to see what one of the busier days here can be like.   

It’s easy to see the awe and enjoyment visitors have in this natural wonder, including on those peak days. Milford Opportunities is focussed on how best we might strengthen and support that experience into the future with visitor numbers predicted to rise. Seeing the opportunities and the hot spots adds to the feedback you’ve given, and the research and testing done around the masterplan. 

Hearing your input remains important to the project. We’ll be undertaking targeted engagement over March and April, but encourage people to continue to reach out directly with any thoughts or questions.  What do you want to see for this place? How do you want to spend time here? The project hub is open Monday to Friday and the website is an option if you can’t make it in to talk face to face: Contact us – Milford Opportunities   

Chris Goddard
Milford Opportunities Programme Director 

Milford Opportunities Ministerial Oversight Group

The Ministerial Oversight Group for the project is now comprised of Conservation Minister Tama Potaka, and Tourism & Hospitality and Associate Transport Minister, Matt Doocey.

Chris Goddard meeting Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey and MP for Southland Joseph Mooney.
Chris Goddard meeting with Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey and MP for Southland Joseph Mooney.

Both ministers have expressed their anticipation of our report back to them in June.  

Minister Doocey visited the project, stakeholders and Piopiotahi last month, taking time to understand the context and challenges of safeguarding this conservation and tourism gem into the future. 

The project will continue to provide regular updates and briefings for the two ministers over the coming months.