Update 6/26: In spite of the ongoing liquidation, Mt. Ruapehu is aiming to open on July 1st for the season. Their official statement is below.

In what New Zealand skiers are calling the worst-case scenario, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts is entering liquidation. David Friar, who is the lawyer for Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, described the ski fields as hopelessly insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

In case you’re new to the New Zealand ski scene, here’s some more context about Mt. Ruapehu. Most of the major ski resorts exist on the South Island, including Cardrona, Mt. Hutt, and The Remarkables. The only major ski resorts to exist on the North Island are Whakapapa and Tūroa, which are located on Mt. Ruapehu. While they’re technically close to each other, the drive between the two ski resorts is a little over an hour. Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, which operates Whakapapa and Tūroa, entered voluntary administration last winter due to a warm winter.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) recommended that two separate entities, Whakapapa Holdings, and Pure Tūroa, would run the mountains separately, giving 25% ownership of each entity to the government. According to Newshub, the creditors couldn’t come to an agreement, meaning that Ruapehu Alpine Lifts is now in liquidation. Dave Mazey, who is the Whakapapa Holdings Chief Executive, still believes that they’ll be able to secure a deal to operate the ski field.

According to RNZ, the High Court in Auckland has appointed John Fisk and Richard Nacey from PWC as liquidators. John Fisk explained to RNZ what comes next:

It gives us a very short runway really, we will have sufficient funds to be able to continue to employ people on the mountain for a number of days and in that period we’re hopeful… that the Whakapapa Holdings and PureTuroa parties are still prepared to be at the table and ready to consummate a deal.

The time is ticking and we need to be able to give certainty to everyone, so that the season can open, and if the season doesn’t open, then unfortunately one season closed probably means that it won’t ever open again.

Based on the value of these two ski fields to the North Island, I don’t see a full closure and separate liquidation of each of the lifts being likely, but I think it’s fair to question whether the lifts will be spinning this winter. They hoped to open the ski fields in early July, but the liquidation process and lack of snowfall to start the year will likely make their ski season limited at best. According to Stuff, Ruapehu District’s mayor said that there is a 50/50 chance they’ll be operating the lifts there for skiing this winter. It could take two weeks until we know the fate of these two ski fields.

Newshub shared a video update on the situation, which spoke with employees to detail their concerns about the future of the two ski fields. You can watch that video down below.

Image/Video Credits: Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, Jason Gardner, Newshub

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Have any post ideas or corrections? Reach out to me: ian@unofficialnetworks.com.