June 28, 2023
Tūwharetoa puts hand up for skifield stake
A group representing stakeholders in the Ruapehu ski-fields is welcoming a new proposal for Ngāti Tūwharetoa to buy the assets of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.
The company was put into liquidation last week after creditors rejected a proposal by voluntary administrators to sell the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas to two bidders.
The Government has since stepped in with $5 million so liquidators PwC can open it for this ski season.
Ruapehu Skifields Stakeholders Association chair Jason Platt says that’s great news for lifetime and season-pass holders, local businesses and communities.
He says Tūwharetoa was part of the creditor group, and its involvement will be critical in any solution.
“We would see MBIE or the Ministry of Business and Innovation not having understood that connection and also not understanding various hapū and iwi have to be consulted with over the concessions to use the mountain because we all understand we are guests on that mountain and that they should have been the first group to be consulted with by MBIE,” Mr Platt says.
He says local ownership of the skifields is the best possible outcome for a region which gets 10% of its income from the industry, about $100 million a year.