Next steps taken to deliver Milford Opportunities Project
July 29, 2022
Conservation Minister Poto Williams has announced the new board for stage three of the Milford Opportunities project.
The board to take the Milford Opportunities Project (MOP) forward has been announced by
Minister of Conservation Poto Williams today.
“The Milford Opportunities Project is a once in a generation chance to reshape the gateway to Milford Sound Piopiotahi and redesign our transport infrastructure to benefit locals, visitors,
and our environment.”
“This group is well-placed to take the Milford Opportunities Project forward, bringing a diverse set of skills and values to the table, from mana whenua, business, conservation and
governance backgrounds,” says Poto Williams.
Members of the board include mana whenua representatives Muriel Johnstone and Michael
Skerrett, alongside Michelle Trapski, Bill Day, and Andrew Patterson, who collectively have
extensive knowledge in sustainable tourism, design and management.
“I’m delighted that the board will be chaired by environmental engineer Dr Keith Turner, who
has provided strong leadership in the early stages of the project.”
Supporting the board’s expertise and experience are Southland District Council chief
executive Cameron McIntosh and Wilma Falconer, the newly appointed chief executive of
Environment Southland, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment, Ministry of Transport, and the Department of Conservation.
“Milford Sound Piopiotahi is the jewel in the crown of New Zealand tourism and arguably the
eighth wonder of the world,” says Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.
“With 870,000 visitors in 2019, the natural environment and infrastructure at this UNESCO
World Heritage site and along the Milford Road were being placed under significant pressure.
“It has become clear that the site has to be managed in a much smarter way,” says Minister
“The project to preserve Milford Sound Piopiotahi for future generations is an opportunity to
continue the Government’s work of reducing emissions and improving safety and resilience
within transport,” said Associate Transport Minister Kieran McAnulty.
Poto Williams acknowledged Dr Turner’s efforts and the work the previous governance group
did creating the Milford Opportunities Projects Masterplan.
“The governance group was asked to develop a plan, to transform the way tourism interacts
with the environment and conservation. What they achieved is innovative and challenging
and now the hard work of feasibility testing and decision-making begins,” said Poto Williams.