John Sandford from Tūroa Alpine Limited has agreed to share a summary of their bid to acquire the assets of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited. While the RSSA have also submitted a bid, the primary interest of the RSSA as a community advocacy group is to promote transparency and accountability in the operations of the skifields in Mt Ruapehu. As a result the contents of the Tūroa Alpine document are shared below without comment.
The vision for Tūroa Alpine Limited (Tūroa Alpine), is to be a publicly owned and highly community- engaged entity as the catalyst for continued successful provision of snow-based activities at Tūroa on the south-western side of Maunga Ruapehu.
Tūroa Alpine is committed to applying the principles of regeneration across its Social, Cultural, Environmental and Economic activities at Tūroa, in Ohakune and anywhere else it operates.
Tūroa Alpine will be a conduit and catalyst for the development of both visitor-focussed and other off-mountain activities, to create further employment, social and economic benefits for the southern Ruapehu region, the Waimarino (Six such off-mountain, year-round projects have been identified).
Tūroa Alpine will:
Always be respectful of enablement by its local iwi, Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi, to carry out snow -based activities on Koro Ruapehu and, enabling the stories of Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi to be told to guests and employees of Tūroa Alpine.
Have a robust capital structure that takes a long-term view and factors in the risks of bad seasons occurring sequentially.
Do whatever it can to ensure that guests begin and end their day at Tūroa with a smile on their face.
Being more fully engaged with its communities than any previous operation on the Tūroa slopes by:
Entering into formal relationship agreements with both Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi
Giving both Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi, first-right-of-refusal on opportunities that it considers to be appropriate in relation to the operations of Tūroa Alpine.
Specifically working with local entities and schools to provide preferential training and employment to locals.
Providing rangatahi from local schools with access to use and enjoy snow-based activities.
Providing local suppliers of goods and services to the company with a preferential “local weighting” in assessment scores
Enabling local businesses to engage more deeply with their own customers by allowing them to sell Tūroa passes to their customers.
Working were possible to enable local businesses to take over some on-mountain Tūroa activities currently operated by RAL. Examples of this may be operation of:
Food and beverage facilities,
Equipment and garment hire and sale,
Encouraging the development of new businesses locally.
Respecting the situation for RAL Life Pass Holders and providing solutions for them to continue to use their passes,
Tūroa Alpine interest in purchasing Tūroa alone is because:
Tūroa and Whakapapa have different iwi that whakapapa to each area. For Tūroa, its iwi are Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi.
Customer demographics for each area are different. The inherent culture of each business is very different.
Both areas have very different terrain. Neither area is better than the other, it’s just that they are different and, to succeed, those differences need to be recognised and factored into how each area communicates with, and delivers for, its customers.
Of an intention to integrate the Tūroa operation more deeply with the wider Southern Ruapehu region than it has been in the past.
Of a belief that focussing on the operation o fTūroa, separate from Whakapapa, will better ensure long-term success of the operation,
Ownership and operation of Tūroa separate from Whakapapa operations de-risks the potential of devastating effects as seen with the current RAL situation. Nonetheless, a service supply agreement between the two areas will avoid duplication of many back-of house functions and create efficiencies for both.
Very wide local and other ownership allows many people and businesses to feel and enjoy a sense of real ownership in a successful local entity that is truly engaged with its local and wider communities.
The consortium have made their a vision document and redacted summary of their bid public for consideration by the wider community.
The Sandford bid has also received several pieces of press coverage: