Milford Opportunities Newsletter

April 2023

Meet the team

The work to test the Milford Opportunities Masterplan’s recommendations requires a broad spectrum of skills and experience across topics including conservation, infrastructure, business, engagement, cultural heritage and policy.

With all our workstream leads now in place, you can read more about who we are and the work we’re doing in the Milford Opportunities Unit on the Milford Opportunities website.

Acting Board Chair

Following Dr Keith Turner’s retirement last month, we are delighted to have Bill Day stepping into the Board Chair role while we seek a permanent replacement over the coming weeks.

Bill is already a valued member of the Milford Opportunities Board, bringing extensive marine, aviation and corporate knowledge and experience.


Staying in touch over winter

Saturday 15 April was the last day for people to drop by and visit us at the Milford Opportunities Project Hub, in Te Anau town centre, as we, like many in the community, prepare for the quieter winter months.

However, a lot of work will be taking place here over the coming months, including a public and stakeholder engagement series. We welcome anyone wishing to visit us to get in touch any time and book an appointment Contact us – Milford Opportunities

The hub was established to serve as an office/base for the Milford Opportunities Project; facilitate engagement sessions and meetings; and to enable easy access to project staff to provide feedback and raise questions.

Over late summer (January to March) we received 94 drop-in visitors to the hub (a mix including business operators, community members and tourists) and used the space for a number of formal and informal engagements and meetings, including a session with the Minister of Tourism, Peeni Henare.

We have set up regular days for people to continue to come in and see us at the hub. The next opportunities are 23 May and 21 June. Contact our Principal Engagement Advisor Fi Roberts to arrange a time to visit: or 027 200 6737

Staying in touch over winter

Upcoming engagement sessions

Our engagement programme is now underway as we look to test the Masterplan’s recommendations.

We have a series of engagement sessions planned for the coming months including three in the first week of May:

  • Fiordland Business Association 2 May
  • Deepwater Basin Stakeholder Engagement Session 3 May
  • Milford Road Corridor Stakeholder Session 4 May

These sessions will take place at the Te Anau hub, with an option to join remotely via Teams.

While many of these are for specific groups and stakeholders, we welcome anyone who’s interested, to come along to one of the community sessions (next ones are 23 May and 21 June). We also welcome opportunities to present to any groups who want to hear from us and provide feedback.

Get in touch by emailing

Upcoming engagement sessions

Feedback on the masterplan: tracks and huts

In the March newsletter we reported back on an engagement session looking at the masterplan’s recommendations regarding recreation facilities, tracks and huts, along the Milford Road Corridor and at Piopiotahi Milford Sound.

At a high level, the masterplan talks of creating more recreation choices through a range of experiences and accommodation options at a series of key nodes. The intention is to spread visitation out, to provide options for travel at a slower pace, for people to stay longer and take time to get to know the area’s communities, cultural heritage and nature.

Recommendations include enabling a shared cycling and walking trail within the Eglinton Valley via the nodes, enhancing accommodation within the corridor (such as camping, cabins and campervans).

The masterplan also contains a wide range of specific recommendations such as:

  • changes to Mistake Creek overnight walking track including a new 80 bunk bookable hut,
  • a Lake Marian loop walk,
  • an extended Hollyford Track

In our first round of engagement with local groups and individuals, on the tracks and huts elements of the Masterplan recommendations, we heard from:

  • local operators and tourism providers
  • Fiordland Tramping and Outdoor Recreation Club
  • Fiordland Trails Trust
  • Bike Fiordland
  • New Zealand Alpine Club – Southland
  • New Zealand Deer Association, Southland
  • Fiordland Outdoors
  • Department of Conservation

They fed back to us that they were generally supportive of cycleways, track enhancements and accessible activities to slow the journey down or provide for a multi-day experience.

There was some discussion on whether the plan had got the right scale or locations for some of these recommendations—for example could the area support the environmental footprint of an 80-bunk hut—and we looked at what might work better.

The question was raised if more infrastructure associated with these proposals, was in keeping with the vision of the Masterplan – ‘Piopiotahi – New Zealand as it was forever’. How would additional facilities be maintained? How would any impacts be minimised?

Our plan is to write-up, check back and share feedback from these sessions (anonymously) online as we are able.  View a summary of feedback from the March Track and Hut engagement session as a PDF file.

If you are interested in feeding into this work, or engaging on other aspects of the Milford Opportunities Masterplan,  we’d love to hear from you: Contact us – Milford Opportunities