15, Dec, 2015

Wangapeka Track too Precious to Road: Instead spend money on marketing

Category: ECO Inc

The problems of the Karamea and northern West Coast can be addressed with more and better marketing, not putting in roads that destroy the environmental values of the place, says Cath Wallace of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand, ECO.

“A road would destroy the wilderness values of the area, kill the Wangapeka Track, the ecosystems that surround it, the wonderful experience of walking the track and seeing what nature is unmodified.  This walk deserves to be be a “great walk” and for more people to know about it.”

The costs of roading would be prohibitive.  “Money could be so much better spent to support marketing, to improve the information to walkers and other visitors, to the local community facilities,” Cath Wallace said.  “It would cost far less than the huge costs of a road.”

“Huge taxpayer funded capital investments on roading with on-going liabilities for maintenance in high alpine passes are just the wrong solution to the problem of lack of tourist visits.”

Cath Wallace said the government should be promoting tourism with marketing, less damaging infrastructure, and more DoC funding for the Wangapeka Track.

“Tourism can be done low impact, and roads through the very places that are most special will destroy the very values that make Karamea special.”

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