The Government will advance a further $6 million bridging funding to allow time for the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) through Kanoa-RDU to support the development of an alternative commercial solution for Mt Ruapehu skifields.
“Following discussions with affected stakeholders, including other creditors and iwi, it has become clear that more time is needed to further explore our options to avoid liquidation. This additional funding will allow this to occur,” said Economic and Regional Development Minister, Stuart Nash.
The announcement follows a survey of Life Pass Holders, which indicated some support, but fell short of the funding required to support a new entity to operate the Tūroa and Whakapapa ski fields, which means more time is required to secure funding for a new entity, the Minister said.
“We will provide $6m to enable alternative solutions to be developed and provide sufficient working capital to retain the RAL management team while a potential resolution continues to be negotiated. This is in addition to the $2 million already extended to RAL from the Crown.”
“By providing this bridging finance we will be able to maintain staff who are critical to the maintenance of the assets on the mountain, and enable it to operate next winter.
“We are fully invested in exploring all options as we recognise the significant detrimental impact on the both the economies and wellbeing of local communities especially Ohakune.
“Any decision regarding the future of operations on Mt Ruapehu needs to be considered and robust, but also realistic about the ongoing cost of such operations,” said Mr Nash.
John Fisk and Richard Nacey, of PwC, were appointed voluntary administrators of Ruapehu
Alpine Lifts Limited (RAL) on 11 October.
RAL operates the Whakapapa and Tūroa skifields in the central North Island. The Company employs around 196 staff across the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas.
“The Company has had a very difficult last three years, with the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, paired with poor weather this season, meaning that the business has been placed under significant cash flow pressure,” said Mr Fisk at the time of the voluntary administration announcement.