28 Feb 2012

South Island ski field gains expansion consent

12:33 pm on 28 February 2012

Resource consent has been granted to a $500 million plan to expand a Canterbury ski field, including a proposal for the country's first ski-area gondola lift.

In a decision released on Monday, Environment Canterbury has given the go-ahead to the Porter Heights ski field in Crystal Valley due to open in 2015.

The ski field's director of development, Mike Sleigh, says the full project which includes an alpine village and hot pools would take at least 10 years to complete.

Mr Sleigh says the Australian and Russian based-investors are still backing the project, despite the Canterbury earthquakes, because they believe Canterbury's economy is sound.

He says the process has taken five years so far and work is expected to start after this year's ski season.

Selwyn District mayor Kelvin Coe has welcomed the project and believes it will be an economic boost for the area, create jobs and have flow on effects for the tourism industry.