Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 29 April 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
29 April, 2010 | Page 3
Tourism businesses in Fiordland have been
counting the costs of this week’s wet and
wild weather, with some estimating the
costs will run into tens of thousands of
With phone, internet, email and Eftpos
all out of action, on Monday and some of
Tuesday, many businesses were negatively
One tour operator estimated it had cost his
business tens of thousands of dollars.
Real Journeys Chief executive officer Dave
Hawkey said it had been a challenging time.
“It’s been pretty difficult – particularly in
terms of data – it makes it pretty difficult for
our reservation systems.”
Some tourists were also feeling aggrieved
about the effects of the weather.
“People who’ve been planning to go to
Milford Sound have been disappointed,” he
Tracknet and Fiordland Holiday Park
director Clint Tauri agreed that the weather
would have cost his business thousands.
“Purely because people couldn’t get
through... and we have to give people
refunds if we can.”
He said the loss of communication took its
“This fibre optic cable’s all very nice... but
it’s just one little cable and when it’s gone it
just cripples the whole town.
“You rely on the internet so heavily – we’ve
got four reservation systems between our
businesses and we couldn’t use any of
them so it was really frustrating.”
The lack of information getting through was
also very trying, he said.
“There were quite major problems. We were
sitting in the dark really. There was that
much confusion... for the tourists, where do
they go to get information.”
He suggested Te Anau might need some
form of local radio station to broadcast
road conditions and weather information, in
emergency situations, when other forms of
communication were down.
Great Lakes Holiday Park manager Brad
Molloy said they had experienced quite a
decrease in customer numbers.
“As far as communication’s concerned –
there just hasn’t been any.
“All our on-line business is affected. We
could have been getting on-line bookings,
through Wotif and Last-Minute, and we
couldn’t correspond with them.”
Lakefront Backpackers manager Jude Waite
agreed that the communication difficulties
had been challenging.
“It’s an inconvenience and it means there
are no forward bookings for us.”
She said the lack of Eftpos facilities was
even more frustrating, with payment
transactions having to be completed
Counting the cost
Keren Andrews (left), 7, and Sarah Hughes, 8, throwing stones into a swollen Lake Te Anau where
the railings of the Marakura Yacht Club wharf are only just visible above the water.
By Mary Witsey
The pest seaweed Undaria has been found
in Fiordland for the first time.
A single specimen of the introduced
Japanese kelp Undaria pinnatifida was
discovered growing on a rope tethering a
barge to the shoreline at the remote Sunday
Cove in Breaksea Sound.
Undaria is an unwanted organism under the
Biosecurity Act and is also designated as a
pest in Environment Southland’s Regional
Pest Management Strategy. It is a fast-
growing seaweed that can spread rapidly,
displacing native species and having major
impacts on marine ecosystems. It was
accidentally introduced to New Zealand
waters in the mid-1980s and has become
widespread throughout much of the
country’s east coast ports and harbours.
This the first discovery of an introduced
marine pest in Fiordland.
Environment Southland Biosecurity
Manager, Richard Bowman, said the
mature plant, with its reproductive parts
well developed, was discovered during a
joint-agency surveillance and compliance
checking exercise in the fiords involving
staff from the Ministry of Fisheries,
Environment Southland, Department of
Conservation and MAF Biosecurity New
Fiordland Marine Guardians chairman
Malcolm Lawson said the find was hugely
disappointing. However, it was heartening
that only a single plant was found, and a
search of the area, including the barge
itself and an adjacent permanently moored
vessel, did not reveal any further plants.
“This find reinforces the need for everyone
entering the Fiordland Marine Area to take
care not to introduce or spread marine
pests,” Mr Lawson said.
“It is vital that the owners and operators of
boats entering Fiordland ensure their vessel
hulls are clean and thoroughly antifouled,
and that all marine equipment such as
ropes, mooring lines, pots, buoys, fishing
and dive gear are clean and dry.”
Environment Southland, MAF Biosecurity
New Zealand and Department of
Conservation are now investigating
potential management options.
Marine pest discovered
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