14 Jun 2023

Crunch point approaching for future of skiing on Ruapehu

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 14 June 2023
Whakapapa Skifield on Mount Ruapehu.

Photo: Unsplash / Matthew Buchanan

The future of skiing on Mt Ruapehu is reaching a critical point with a watershed creditors meeting set for next week.

Cabinet has agreed to support separate private bidders to run Whakapapa and Tūroa ski fields after the previous operator, Ruapehu Alpine lifts, went into voluntary administration last year, owing millions of dollars.

Whakapapa Holdings Ltd and Pure Tūroa are separately seeking to purchase the assets of the respective ski areas,  and want to open for skiing and boarding in the coming weeks. However a group of life pass holders are putting up a separate proposal to keep the ski areas in community ownership. Next Tuesday RAL creditors -  including that block of life pass holders, will vote on the proposals.

Meanwhile local iwi have criticised the process, saying they have not been adequately consulted. Kathryn speaks with head of Whakapapa Holdings, former Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas' chief executive Dave Mazey; and Sam Clarkson Life Pass Holders' representative and local business operator.