New glacier town planned $30m cost for new Franz Josef

Friday 16 July 2004

As the village at Franz Josef Glacier runs out of room, a property developer has come up with a novel solution – build another town.

By The Landlord

Callery Holdings Ltd has won approval to rezone an 85ha site at Stony Creek, 4km north of the present village, and it expects the development of a self-contained tourist town there over the next two years to cost $30 million.

"Our key objective is to develop a purpose-built tourism village in a safe location," owner Gavin Molloy said.

"Potentially it will be the single biggest tourism project ever in the Westland district."

Franz Josef is the busiest tourist resort on the West Coast but its growth is constrained by the flood risk from the Waiho River. It is also a high earthquake risk, with an alpine fault running down the main street.

"There is nowhere for the existing village to go," Molloy said. "It's on the edge of the Waiho River and what we're seeing on the south side, where the motels have been told to shift, we're going to see on the north side in 20 years time because the riverbed is rising 300mm a year."

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