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Our Vision for the Skifields on Mt Ruapehu

Based on feedback and engagement with our wider groups over the last six months, we are advocating for the following:  

1. Retain both Turoa and Whakapapa under the same company ownership where profits are reinvested in the 
     skifields not paid out in dividends.
 This provides the following benefits: 

  • The ability to achieve economies of scale for efficient corporate overhead and support costs. 

  • The winter ski season is shorts and with climate change likely to shorten over time, therefore efficient corporate overhead is critical to the long term financial sustainability of both skifields. DoC concessions are unlikely to change which limits the ability to develop further on mountain summer revenue streams. 

    • Turoa is limited to a winter only revenue stream, DoC concessions limit summer on mountain activities, therefore Turoa will rely on cost efficiencies in the corporate administration from economies of scale with Whakapapa. 

  • Keeping both fields together maximises crowdfunding potential in the form of Season Passes, Equity, and Life Passes. Surveys tell us the community has a strong preference to retain both ski fields as community owned operations .

  • Having two skifield operations provides diversification to weather risk and volcanic risk.

  • Historical data shows that Turoa's ownership has been unstable as a standalone skifield with ownership changing hands within four to 10 years. Turoa was stable for 20 years when combined with Whakapapa and only came into trouble when RAL pivoted away from its crowdfunding business model to become a debt funded business to finance the Sky Waka Gondola. 

2. Under a community ownership structure and governance model 

  • RAL has operated successfully for the last 65 years by only spending money that it actually had. The model works and only became broken under the most recent governorship. We believe that RAL can again be a successful company with a significant amount of fiscal belt tightening and good governance. The most important thing is that the current trustees are removed and new trustees are appointed and their shareholding is reduced.

  • A revised constitution and structure put in place and new Directors appointed to the Board with a broader range of skills and representation which better represent the key stakeholders including RDC, local businesses, Iwi, clubs, DOC and mountain users. This will help ensure transparency and good governance. 

3. Financed through crowdfunding, long-term product pre-sales and equity investment from the ski community 

  • We are asking creditors to either write down a portion of current debt, convert portion of the current debt to shares or defer settlement to a longer period. 

  • Use crowd funding to help recapitalize the company. The cornerstone of this crowdfunding would be the LPH’s as recognised creditors but it is essential that the greater snow community are also willing to donate/invest in order to reach the $ target required.  

  • Maintain the current non-profit customer-owned status - specifically that all profit is reinvested back into the ski fields for the development of armature snow sports within the Tongariro National Park. 

As a broad community, we have inclusive mechanisms (social media, email and surveys) to canvas the wide range of views from the community, as well as regular engagement with representative groups such as RMCA and Iwi, to respect their enduring interests in the mountain.

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