The team

The below governance group, project working group and project team were in place for stage two.

There will be a new team and structure for stage three, which has not been finalized yet apart from reappointing Dr Keith Turner to the chair role.

When there is more detail on the team and structure for stage three, this page will be updated.

Stage two governance group

Keith Turner

Dr Keith Turner

Retired, director

I was appointed as independent Chair of the Governance Group because of my long and deep association with Fiordland (through involvement with Manapouri) and also because of my 15 years of leading governance experience (including chair/deputy chair of several NZ iconic companies). Milford Sound Piopiotahi is an icon of New Zealand tourism, and indeed international tourism. It has high value to those who come to see it and we have a duty to protect it. The Milford road and indeed the whole corridor is part of that journey,


Gary Tong

Mayor, Southland District Council

Milford Sound Piopiotahi is so important to Southland and its people, as well as being a drawcard for tourists from throughout the world. This project brings together people from all different agencies to work together to come up with an innovative and inspiring plan for the area for at least the next 50 years.

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Muriel Johnstone

Ngai Tahu
Riverton Aparima

As mana whenua we are obligated and desire to protect this great treasure now and into the future. It isn’t to lock others out but to work together to ensure it remains the most magnificent place it is to visit – its stories shared and told for mana whenua.

Jim Harland

Jim Harland

Director Regional Relationships – Southern, New Zealand Transport Agency

I am part of the Milford Opportunities Project because I have a large interest in tourism and am the tourism lead for NZTA, which has a key role in the work with its ownership of the state highway into Milford Sound Piopiotahi. That access needs to fit for purpose, reliable and safe and the project needs to come up with a world class plan for the future for the whole area.

Geoff Thomson

Geoff Thomson

Geoff Thomson
Owner, Distinction Hotel Group

Fiordland is special to me and I see this project as a great opportunity to solve some issues and to do something world class that has never been achieved before. This could be a leading light for others.

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Bruce Parkes

Deputy Director-General, Policy and Visitors
Department of Conservation

Milford Opportunities is a priority project for the Department of Conservation as a key conservation and visitor manager. A master plan for the area presents the opportunity to reshape the current visitor model and redesign it to protect the landscape better, enhance the visitor experience and connect it to conservation. The Department of Conservation is responsible for ensuring World Heritage Outstanding Universal Values, conservation and national park values are retained or enhanced through Milford Opportunities, working in partnership with Ngai Tahu. 

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Jim Boult

Mayor, Queenstown Lakes District Council

As a 40-year participant in the tourism industry and now mayor of New Zealand’s premier tourism destination, I am acutely aware of the part that our natural environment plays in what is now New Zealand’s largest industry. Milford Sound Piopiotahi is arguably the single most important natural feature in Aotearoa / New Zealand. As part of the Milford Opportunities Group, my desire is to ensure that Milford Sound Piopiotahi is future proofed for the enjoyment of future generations. Noting the massive draw card that is Piopiotahi, I wish to see it play a greater part in growing high value tourism in Southland.

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Iain Cossar

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment representative

Project working group

The governance group is supported by a project working group made up of representatives from the various agencies.

It is led by Simon Moran (SDC), and includes Abby Cheeseman (MBIE), Kevin Thompson (NZTA/Milford Road Alliance), John Twidle and Rachael McMillan (DOC), Michael Skerrett (Ngai Tahu),  and Louise Pagan (SDC).

Project team

The Milford Opportunities masterplan and the accompanying technical papers were developed by Stantec and Boffa Miskell. The team was led by Russell Halliday, from Stantec.