Mayor applauds Government's $5 million support for 2023 ski season
Ruapehu mayor Weston Kirton said he warmly welcomes the announcement that the Government will provide up to $5 million to the liquidators of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) to ensure the mountain’s 2023 ski season can go ahead.
“This decision marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to secure the future of skiing on Mt Ruapehu and its contribution to the regional economy,” he said.
“With the failure of the watershed meeting of RAL creditors on Tuesday last week to support either the Whakapapa Holdings Limited or Pure Tūroa Limited bids allowing time for liquidators to decide on the best possible purchaser or purchasers of the business and its assets was the best possible outcome.
The news that there is a new proposal from Te Ariki Tā Tumu Te Heuheu on behalf of Tūwharetoa to take over the ski operations on the mountain is welcomed.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Government and Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan for recognizing the crucial role that the Ruapehu ski industry plays in the central North Island's economy.
This announcement will come as a tremendous relief to the Ruapehu communities with the ski industry contributing approximately one-tenth of the regional GDP, amounting to $100 million per year.
The decision to support the 2023 ski season will ensure job security for the workers on the mountain and provide much needed certainty for businesses that rely on the ski industry,” he said.
Mayor Kirton noted that getting to this point has been an emotional and trying time for everyone involved.
“I want to express my gratitude to the resilient and supportive Mt Ruapehu communities.
I understand the stress and uncertainty this process has brought upon you.
Moving forward, I call upon all stakeholders to support the liquidator to choose the best operator or operators who can ensure the long-term success of the Mt Ruapehu ski industry,” he said.