Continued Crown support for Ruapehu Alpine Lifts
Published: 6 October, 2023
The Government has agreed to provide further funding for Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited (RAL) to support the pathway forward for Mt Ruapehu’s skiing operations, jobs and regional economy in the immediate future.
“The Crown is committed to ongoing, collective negotiations with iwi and ongoing consultation with stakeholders regarding RAL, and this will continue. The decision has been carefully assessed and considered the best interim measure for all parties impacted by the RAL process and the wider Mt Ruapehu region,” says Kānoa head Robert Pigou.
The decision provides additional $4.3 million in loan funding to support RAL operations on the mountain, until further decisions on next steps are made by the Government by the end of March 2024.
“The funding allows RAL to continue operating over the next 6 months while giving the incoming Government time to consider and agree next steps.”
The loan will be administered by Kānoa, the Government’s Regional Development Investment Unit, and comes from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.
Subject to obtaining a Department of Conservation concession and consultation outcomes with iwi, the Government has also agreed [in principle] to provide $3.05 million support for a bid from Pure Tūroa Limited to acquire some of RAL’s assets and take over commercial operations of the Tūroa ski field.
The Government has also agreed a framework to continue negotiations with bidders and iwi for the operations of the Whakapapa ski field.
Mt Ruapehu is a significant part of the economy in the Central North Island. The ski operations are a key employer and have significant flow-on effects for businesses and related industry. The value of the region’s tourism GDP is estimated to be around $100 million a year.