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Updated: Jun 9, 2023

9 June 2023 - Updated

Letter to Our Community

We’d like to provide some details around who we are and our participation in the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd (Administrators Appointed) (RAL) insolvency process being led by PwC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).

John Fisk and Richard Nacey of PwC in their capacity as the voluntary administrators of RAL, have been working constructively with MBIE since late last year to find a sustainable way forward for snow sports to continue on Mt Ruapehu.

The next critical step is a ‘watershed meeting’ which will likely be called by PwC on 20 June 2023. This meeting provides creditors the opportunity to vote on the future of RAL. Ahead of the meeting, PwC are required to circulate a report to creditors setting out the options available for creditors to vote on. As part of this, PwC are expected to present the two MBIE-preferred bids. Pure Tūroa Ltd expects that it will be one of those bidders.

As the watershed meeting approaches, and speculation of what next for snow sports on Ruapehu grows, the team at Pure Tūroa are committed to our community which is why we have been working tirelessly to ensure the best outcome for all stakeholders.

Confidentiality agreements mean there are some limitations on what we can talk about. But we can talk about who we are and why we care about the maunga.

We can also share our aspirations for the wider district and the communities that Tūroa snow sports sustain.

It’s become abundantly clear that a significant investment is required to keep snow sports on the South-Western slopes of Ruapehu operations safe, environmentally sustainable, and respectful of iwi cultural values for the long term.

The Pure Tūroa team is a strong group of passionate Ohakune business people and residents, past RAL employees, and dual residents who have a long standing and deep connection with the region. We’ve rallied the experiences and goodwill of a great many more people to create a solid and capable team.

Our mission is to ensure environmentally and financially sustainable Tūroa operations in collaboration with iwi. We very much appreciate and respect the significance of the maunga, and Tongariro National Park, to iwi. The goal is to preserve economic prosperity for our local communities, provide new jobs, develop year-round opportunities, and continue to develop a pathway for our tamariki through their school years and into the snow sports industry.

The suggestions we have heard – that we are cashed up investors doing backroom deals to create an exclusive snow experience for the ultra wealthy – are just plain untrue.

Yes. We have been frustrated and disappointed by some of the ill-informed commentary by some while we have been operating under tight confidentiality agreements which have left us unable to respond publicly.

Yes. When we got together earlier this year Pure Tūroa had a clear objective of presenting a bid to purchase the RAL Tūroa assets.

Yes. We have positively engaged and are collaborating with iwi, DoC, local business owners and our community leaders.

Yes. We have a deep understanding of what it takes to run snow sports in one of the world’s most challenging environments.

Yes. Pure Tūroa has assembled a solid and experienced operations team supported by a dedicated group of finance and marketing professionals to make sure we can open this season.

Yes. We are working hard to have a Season Pass launched for 2023 that will give one of the best value ski and ride experiences in the country.

Yes. Pure Tūroa is building a willing and ready base of locals to start operations on the Tūroa slopes. The buzz on the local streets is amazing!

Yes. If we are successful – there will be a Tūroa ski season this year!

Why only Tūroa? Whakapapa and Tūroa are different. Different stakeholders, different approaches, different staff, different communities and Tūroa is closely integrated into the wellbeing of the Ohakune township.

Under the previous single large and complex not-for-profit organisation we all often had a very average experience. It was a structure where options for raising capital were very limited. Tūroa often came off second best with resources weighted to Whakapapa. With the two fields under different ownership our aim is to set Tūroa on a course to provide brilliant snow sports for those just starting out right through to the most experienced.

Pure Tūroa’s focus is on delivering a much better customer experience with lifts opening on time, maximising skier days, reduced queues, and staying true to the Tūroa culture of fun, adventure, and inclusion of everyone wishing to enjoy and appreciate the maunga.

There are many passionate people out there with many different views on how the process forward and the ski areas should be run. The Pure Tūroa team know that most just want a sustainable solution that will deliver economic prosperity and job creation for the region.

Pure Tūroa has chosen to remain professionally engaged in the process as its the best, and perhaps only, way for snow sports to continue at Ruapehu. A failure of this process at this late stage has the real possibility of leading to the permanent closure of both fields – and none of us want that. The economic impact would be devastating to our region. The taxpayer would be left footing the $100M-plus bill for removal of mountain infrastructure.

We know there is some water to go under the bridge yet, but we are looking forward to presenting an excellent offer to RAL Life Pass Holders at the watershed meeting along with ensuring unsecured creditors are looked after.

As locals we know we can do this and make it great. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to being able to share much more with you soon. We hope and are confident of gaining your trust and support as this process unfolds.

The Pure Tūroa team,

Pure Tūroa Ltd, Ohakune

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1 Comment

Thank you for your update. We really appreciate your helpful information, knowing you have confidentiality agreements and are limited to what you can disclose we really appreciate this update. The virtual silence apart from speculation has meant that Ohakune business owners like ourselves have been virtually left in the dark especially when our livelihoods are so directly related to the ski field operations. We have had a look at the options available and you (Pure Turoa) is the best for us and Ohakune as a whole, in our estimation so all the best and we look forward to some positive news in the next couple of weeks.

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