Whatever the weather


From Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean’s Facebook :

This morning I attended the opening of the Tasman Valley Road with Conservation Minister, Hon Dr Nick Smith. This significant upgrade was a collaboration of NZTA and DoC to improve safety and accessibility to one New Zealand’s most beautiful alpine regions. It will have great benefits for the surrounding communities.

Jacqui Dean MP's photo.

Jacqui Dean MP's photo.

This is #TeamKey working for New Zealand whatever the weather.

The announcement on the road says:

The completed $3 million upgrade of Tasman Valley Road at Aoraki/Mount Cook was officially opened today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“The major upgrade of the Tasman Valley Road is about improving the safety and accessibility to New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine environment. This new road will enable over 100,000 visitors annually to enjoy the magnificent mountain, lake and glacial views of the Tasman Valley, and the unique flora and fauna including mountain lilies and daisies, and our unique mountain parrot, the kea,” Dr Smith says.

“The upgrade unveiled today – a partnership project between the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) – will improve one of New Zealand’s iconic ‘must-visit’ destinations, and provide significant benefits for the local tourism industry.

“The original road previously ran over a very dangerous and busy 2.2-kilometre bluff section, which has now been moved and realigned to run along the Tasman Valley floor, where it follows the contours of the nearby Blue Stream. This addresses a number of safety concerns associated with high traffic volumes on a narrow and winding section of road used by large buses and campervans. The new section also reduces the potential exposure to rock falls and avalanches.”

The capital costs of the upgrade have been shared by the Department and NZTA.

“This project is a great example of the Department working in partnership with other agencies to meet the aims of all involved. The upgraded road meets the strategic investment priorities for the Department with the area being an iconic site, while also meeting the NZTA’s priorities to make improvements where there are road safety issues and high traffic volumes,” Dr Smith says.

“I encourage many New Zealanders and other visitors to the area to make good use of this new road, and enjoy one of the great sights our country has to offer.”

Aoraki/Mt Cook’s South Ridge to be Sir Ed’s


Aoraki/Mount Cook’s South Ridge is to be renamed Hillary Ridge .

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson confirmed this today after a recommendation from the Geographic Board:

“Sir Edmund made an enormous contribution to our country and abroad and it is befitting and appropriate that his contribution is acknowledged in this way,” Mr Williamson said.

“Sir Edmund was a much admired and respected climber and mountaineer, not only in New Zealand but in many other parts of the world.”

“Altering the name South Ridge to Hillary Ridge will further cement Sir Edmund’s place in New Zealand’s history.”

Sir Edmund’s personal association with this geographic feature began as one of the party of four to make the first successful ascent of the South Ridge in February 1948.  The three other climbers were guides Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan who both led the climb, and Ruth Adams.

“My decision was made with the greatest respect to these three other accomplished climbers and their families,” Mr Williamson said.

The naming is not just because he was in the party which made the first successful ascent via the South Ridge.

It is a tribute to hi life work helping the people of Nepal following his ascent of Mount Everest and a logical way to commemorate one of  New Zealand’s greatest men.


%d bloggers like this: