Milford Opportunities Newsletter

June 2023

Welcome to the June edition of the Milford Opportunities Newsletter

The team is now working at pace with community, recreational users, tourism operators and others to test feasibility and implications of the masterplan proposals.  We have a deadline of June 2024 to provide these options to Government and reflect these in a business case.

This edition is a little later than planned as we wanted to share some of the feedback from recent engagement sessions including on Deepwater Basin in Piopiotahi Milford Sound and the Milford Road corridor. Read on to see what was said.

Ngā mihi
Phil Tisch, Fi Roberts & Lizzy Sutcliffe
Milford Opportunities Engagement & Communications Team

Welcome to the June edition of the Milford Opportunities Newsletter


We are currently working through our engagement programme.

The programme is designed to support Stage Three, Phase One – feasibility testing the masterplan’s recommendations, by connecting with groups, individuals, and experts both locally and nationally. The purpose is not to relitigate the masterplan, but to ensure we are well informed when looking into the detail and logistics of how we might operationalise each recommendation.

Since setting up the project hub in January 2023, 382 people have attended engagement sessions amounting to over 18 hours.

These are either targeted at specific groups (such as the Fiordland Business Association or Fiordland Marine Guardians) or topics (such as the Milford Road corridor, Deepwater Basin, tracks and huts).

People we’ve engaged with represent Te Anau residents, businesses, conservation and recreation groups, tourism operators, organisations and emergency services.

There are a further 156 people that have either dropped into the Milford Opportunities Project Hub in Te Anau or have had one on one engagement with a team member.

We reach around 500 inboxes with this newsletter. Please continue to share Milford Opportunities Facebook and newsletter details with those who are interested as these are the best ways to stay across what’s happening.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this work.


Feedback from May engagement sessions

In early May, we held engagement sessions on the Milford Road corridor and Deepwater Basin. We also hosted the Fiordland Business Association at the Te Anau Hub

The feedback from these sessions was extremely informative and is generally positive regarding our work and approach. General themes from each session include:

Deepwater Basin

  • Separation is needed between commercial and recreational operators.
  • Current set up has health and safety issues with risk of liability.
  • Boat trailers are an issue, need a long term solution.
  • Any new management approach needs to be adaptable, including flexibility to cater for both peak season and off
  • A sustainable approach is needed with greater protection of fishery.
  • New infrastructure needs to be world-class, high quality, designed to last and be robust against the elements.

Read a full summary of feedback and discussion at the Deepwater Basin May 2023 engagement session.

Milford Road corridor

  • Operators need clarity and timeframe.
  • The only thing that looks natural is nature itself, it’s the reason people visit the area.
  • Consolidate infrastructure and pare it back to sensitively integrate into the landscape.
  • Solutions need to be flexible and future proofed.
  • Get on with the stuff we all agree on.
  • Access – too many vehicles travelling on the road – was the main concern that needs to be addressed now, majority of problems are caused by rental cars and international drivers.
  • Park and ride can’t happen too soon for many.

Read a full summary of feedback and discussion at the Milford Road corridor May 2023 engagement session.


Fiordland Business Association

  • Keen to build the relationship with Milford Opportunities.
  • We are all interested in the ‘how’.
  • What does the masterplan mean to businesses, operators, the community.
  • How do we stay connected and in touch with the project?
  • Impressed with the Tracks and Huts engagement session. Appreciate the transparency of the feedback on the Milford Opportunities website.
  • We want to see value back into our area.

Read a full summary of feedback and discussion at the Fiordland Business Association May 2023 engagement session.

Feedback documents are written up and then checked with those present. In capturing feedback, we’ve strived to remain true to what was said rather than paraphrase or moderate wording.

Upcoming engagement sessions

The following engagement sessions are planned this month:

  • Piopiotahi Community / Milford Community Trust – 7.30pm, 7 June (Milford Lodge)
  • U3A – Upper Clutha – 10am, 14 July (Wanaka)
  • Marine Focus Group (To be confirmed)
  • Te Anau Based Tour / Coach drivers and guides (20 June – Te be confirmed)

For those of you who wish to come in and see us, we have our next community drop in day on 21 June. Please email to ensure that someone will be at the hub and available to catch up.

Website updates

The Milford Opportunities Project Establishment Board Terms of Reference are now on our website. These were approved by the Milford Opportunities Ministerial Group on 3 May 2023, and provide clarity around the scope of work, roles and timeframes.

We have updated our website with a feedback form on the contact us page. A printed version of this will be available at engagement sessions, from the Project Hub or to download online.

This is a good starting point for anyone keen to feed into our work, feel free to share with others.

Website updates