Ski community call for halt to fire-sale of the Ruapehu skifields
Tēnā koutou Minister McAnulty,
I’m writing to you on behalf of the Ruapehu Skifields Stakeholders Association. We represent a diverse membership of life pass holders, local residents, tourism businesses and the wider ski community with a love of Mt Ruapehu.
We are gravely concerned that recent concerns voiced by Ngā Iwi o te kāhui maungu to the Ruapehu skifields insolvency process have been minimised and/or not given the gravity they deserve. The ski community sees ourselves as guest on Mt Ruapehu and the very existence of skiing in the Ruapehu region rests on continued positive relationships with the local community and local Iwi.
We are supportive of local Iwi interests in the skifields at whatever level suits them and allows for long-term preservation of skiing for generations to come. In particular, we support the Ngā Iwi o te kāhui maungu efforts regarding a transitional arrangement that can act as a safe pair of hands until the conclusion of the Tongariro National Park treaty settlement process.
The imminent possibility of an asset sale being halted by an impasse in concession discussions means that no restructuring decisions should be completed without proper advance consultation (which has not yet happened). We have previously raised concerns regarding MBIE’s continued efforts to use government money to seize control of a community-owned organisation and sell the assets to private interests.
A not-for-profit community-ownership model is a more stable long-term operating model for skifields on Mt Ruapehu and a better fit for the complex environmental, social and cultural context than for-profit private commercial ownership.
We are urgently calling on Ministers to halt the sale of the Ruapehu skifields into private hands.
Nāku noa, nā
Ruapehu Skifields Stakeholders Association