Milford Opportunities stage two kicks off

Milford Opportunities governance group members are keen to get under way now that the project has received the green light from the Government’s new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.

Milford Opportunities governance group chair Dr Keith Turner said the funding announcement of $3 million is excellent news and the group is very appreciative of the support it has received from Government Ministers and ministry staff.

Milford Sound Piopiotahi and the transport corridors to it have had rapid growth and pressure during the past five years. Supporting infrastructure and tourism opportunities do not present the world heritage and special cultural status that this place has in New Zealand’s conservation estate.

“We have approval from Cabinet for the approach we will be taking. We have been very keen to get on with things, but the time taken to get to this stage has been very important to ensure everyone is on the same page. With today’s announcement, the team can now press ahead with its plans to create a masterplan for Milford Sound Piopiotahi, and the regions surrounding it,” Dr Turner said.

“We’ve used the time wisely and have a clear plan of what needs to happen now. We will be calling for applications for an innovative and creative team to work with the governance group to create a masterplan and ensuring that it is backed up by the necessary research,” he said.

“Critical to this is ensuring that we engage with all stakeholders and interested people all the way through and over the next year there will be a lot of engagement at many different levels. We will be out in the communities, testing ideas, asking questions and seeking views on what people see as the solutions,” he said.

“Stage One gave us the foundation for the project and Stage Two will develop options which will be robustly tested to enable us to select the best for the masterplan.”

Our aim is to have this masterplan ready for key decisions by mid-2021. The next steps are to advertise for the team through the Government electronic tender service (GETS).

Milford Opportunities stage two kicks off