National | Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Tūwharetoa bids for Ruapehu ski fields; state throws lifeline to liquidators

Ngāti Tūwharetoa has joined the bidding war for Ruapehu after the government threw a $5 million lifeline to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts liquidators to help keep the company open for the ski season.

It follows the company being placed into liquidation last Wednesday after a creditor vote the day before refused to approve either of two potential proposals.

Ruapehu Skifields Stakeholders Association chairman Jason Platt says it’s pleasing to know the season will go ahead, and it has delighted iwi, hapū and the community.

“They’ve been very uncertain for the past eight months and it's hugely financially and emotionally draining on them. This injection, which a number of local iwi and our group have been asking for has brought huge relief.”

Te Ariki Tā Tumu Te Heuheu, on behalf of Tūwharetoa, joined existing bidders Whakapapa Holdings and Pure Tūroa who were looking at the company pre-liquidation, something that the association views as a positive.

“Tūwharetoa was a bondholder of the  gondola at Whakapapa, and so we were meeting with those Tūwharetoa representatives for the past four months in meetings with PWC.

“If it is Tūwharetoa and also an iwi collective, we think that would be really positive because it means that any profits that are made from those operations go back into iwi and then back into the local region, which is what we have been advocating for.”

Public Interest Journalism