A win for environmentalists in Southland.
Environment Minister Nick Smith has declined a proposal for the Milford Dart Tunnel.
Visiting the world heritage site where the proposed Milford Dart Tunnel would have been situated was enough to convince the Conservation Minister the project could never go ahead.
Nick Smith has today declined the application for the tunnel through the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, citing environmental reasons.
The eleven kilometre, 180 million dollar tunnel would've halved the travel time for the 420 thousand visitors a year who visit Milford Sound.
Dr Smith also had concerns about the economic viability and safety of the tunnel.
The Conservation Minister admits legal action might be taken over his decision to decline the 180 million dollar Milford Dart Tunnel project.
Dr Smith has decided the environmental impacts of the 11 kilometre tunnel on the world heritage area of Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks outweigh the economic benefits.
Dr Smith advised Milford Dart Limited of his decision today.
He says he's reluctant to comment on whether they'll take legal action, but with such a contentious decision involving many millions of dollars, there's a likelihood there'll be a legal challenge.