The Government has announced it 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.
Regional Development Minister, Kiri Allan says the financial leg-up will allow time for liquidators to decide on the purchaser or purchasers of the business and its assets.
The Government’s decision followed a meeting of RAL creditors last week which ending in a stalemate. RAL was put into liquidation by the High Court in Auckland last Wednesday.
“We’ve always been committed to finding a way to ensure the ski season on Mount Ruapehu goes ahead this year. Cabinet’s decision today has solidified that,” Minister Allan said.
“Ruapehu is a very significant part of the economy in the central North Island, accounting for around a tenth of regional GDP, or $100 million per year. The season going ahead will save hundreds of jobs and support local tourism, the regional economy and the community, while a long-term solution is found.
“This will provide workers on the mountain with job security and ensure businesses dependent on activities on and around the mountain have the certainty they need for the season ahead.”
She said the liquidator would be able to operate under the existing concessions.
“The Crown has also received a further expression of interest following the watershed meeting, to take over the ski operations on the mountain. This proposal from Te Ariki Tā Tumu Te Heuheu on behalf of Tūwharetoa is in addition to the expressions of interest received from Whakapapa Holdings and Pure Tūroa before the watershed meeting.”
“The final decision in relation to the sale is made by the liquidator.
“The Government is now considering the three bids for Government support and I have asked MBIE to engage with the bidders to determine the best outcome for RAL’s creditors, the Crown, the local economy and community.
“The government remains committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the region and many future ski seasons,” Ms Allan said.