16 Apr 2013

Submissions on changes to park plan

11:33 am on 16 April 2013

A panel is hearing submissions on proposals to increase visitors to the Franz Josef and Fox glacier valleys.

The Department of Conservation notified proposals for the Westland National Park Management plan last August.

Changes include increasing the number of heli-hike landings near the glaciers and building roads beyond the current car parks.

But those roads would be able to be used only by specialised vehicles operated by those with new concessions or licences.

Karen Mayhew of the West Coast Environment Network, told the panel in Hokitika that both the review and the reasons for it favour private enterprise over public interest.

Another submitter, Andy Dennis, says the proposed changes have nothing to do with conservation.

Eighty submissions have been received.