It’s been a while since we last provided an update. In this time Tūroa has seen an awesome winter season with incredible snow. As local business owners, we’d really like to thank the RAL Tūroa team for working so hard, well beyond the call of duty, to ensure every Tūroa visitor enjoyed the best maunga experience possible. In Ohakune, we all depend on their incredible mahi and enthusiasm for Tūroa.
We’re also very grateful for the Crown’s continued support of Ruapehu operations in this challenging time. We at Pure Turoa feel privileged to get an inside look at how the Crown, and MBIE specifically, work through a complex issue such as the RAL insolvency, where so many people’s livelihoods depend on a successful outcome. We’ve been impressed and sometimes surprised at how committed the people at MBIE have been to continue to work hard to arrive at an outcome that looks after all stakeholders.
Although this process is ongoing, Pure Turoa would like to let you know that we are still here. We’re 100% committed to continue working towards a new beginning for Tūroa and are very appreciative of the help local iwi have provided in shaping our plans into a long-term sustainable future. We also want to thank the local Ohakune Business Network who have provided such strong support which we know has not gone unnoticed by the Crown. We’ve also been encouraged throughout this long process by the support of local business owners who have helped with practical ideas to build an independent and viable Tūroa business that draws on their experience and capabilities going forward.
On Monday the 2nd October, an updated Pure Turoa proposal was again presented by MBIE to Cabinet and was approved for Crown support. This proposal provides a clear path to an agreement being signed for Pure Turoa’s acquisition of the RAL Tūroa assets, subject to a DoC Concession being drafted and terms agreed. Once iwi have jointly completed their requirements to be incorporated into the new DoC Concession, DoC will be able to start drafting a new Tūroa Concession. This process is likely to take us to March next year at which time Pure Turoa will be able to settle the purchase for RAL Tūroa assets and immediately launch into action operationally.
There has been a huge amount of work done by all parties behind the scenes with some very positive new cultural and environmental objectives emerging. These will help shape the new DoC Concession into a sustainable way forward that embeds the values of iwi as a cornerstone of all operations on the maunga. We’re excited to be a part of this work and believe that a much more positive and sustainable way forward for people to enjoy the maunga, winter and summer, will be the end result.
To-date, we have not been in a position to respond to the often misinformed commentary in the media and social media. We have chosen to remain silent despite many media requests for comment, as we want to respect all parties involved within this process and allow them time to work through the complex issues in good faith and understanding that these parties have the first right to talk to media when they are ready. On a lot of the technical and financial detail, we remain under confidentiality agreements with the Crown. However, we would like to provide some points below where information is already in the public domain, but has been often misrepresented:
The $3.05M Crown support for PTL mentioned in some social media and news articles is not a cash loan or grant of any kind. It’s a structured Crown support arrangement where only a small part is provided as cash equity in return for the Crown’s ownership of 25% of the Pure Turoa Ltd company. The rest is a structured facility, the majority of which requires the PTL founding shareholders to match any draw-downs dollar-for-dollar, and only to be drawn if required.
Although a $1 purchase price for accounting purposes, the Tūroa assets in fact represent a financial liability requiring many millions of dollars of commitment over the next 3 to 5 years to catch up on deferred maintenance and keep operations running. Additionally, PTL are budgeting for significant environmental and cultural performance improvements, while also sustainably improving the Tūroa snow sports experience.
Despite what a small minority of detractors have said publicly, an independent and privately-owned Tūroa offers the best long-term benefit to the local economy. The Crown came to this conclusion after an enormous amount of due diligence early in 2023, analysing the failings of the past and listening to local iwi and the local business community. A private PTL has significant sources of private capital that will enable the funding of much-needed improvements to Tūroa equipment and facilities. PTL and its investors share a very long term view with the initial years focused on investment in sustainable upgrades and developing a much improved offering.
There has been a genuine and extensive consultative process with local iwi and DoC throughout 2023 involving all key stakeholders including PTL and MBIE. PTL have found this process to be very rewarding and productive and has been invaluable in crystallising PTL’s business plan. PTL continues in this work and is very grateful for local iwi’s help and positive engagement through this complex process.
With so many pressing issues around the country, PTL have found the Crown and specifically, MBIE to be continually engaged and motivated to ensure a positive outcome for our local community and its economic prosperity. The people at MBIE have been personally committed to this cause, behind the scenes showing a genuine passion to work out the right path forward that balances all stakeholder interests.
PTL has an exciting future development plan, collaborating with local iwi and local businesses, that we hope will set up Tūroa as a world class winter and summer adventure, cultural and environmental tourism destination for generations to come. This plan will require large private capital commitments, but we believe this unique maunga demands this level of care and support.
PTL has worked with Whakapapa Holdings Ltd and with operators in the South Island to develop a Season Pass model that will provide a level of reciprocal access to these fields. We aim to offer a pass to people who primarily ski or board Tūroa, but with flexibility to get a few days round at Whakapapa and with the added value of a jaunt down South.
Thanks for taking the time to keep updated with Pure Tūroa and we’ll provide more updates as things progress.