UPDATE: Joint Press Release 23/9/2017
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) has been granted a new license to operate Mt Ruapehu's Tūroa, New Zealand’s second largest ski area.
RAL chief executive Ross Copland says, "We're absolutely thrilled to reach this historic agreement together with Ngāti Rangi, Uenuku and the Department of Conservation. To have security of tenure is of huge significance to the company. With less than five years to run on the existing licence, it was essential that we reached this agreement to allow us to invest, ensuring that Tūroa continues to anchor the winter economy of Ohakune and the wider Ruapehu region."
The licence has an initial term of 25 years plus seven five-year extensions totalling 60 years. Iwi have significant influence over the granting of licence extensions which occur at 5-yearly intervals ensuring a partnership approach to management of the ski areas by virtue of governance-level relationship groups which meet regularly to discuss major projects, set objectives and monitor performance against agreed KPI’s.
Approved by the Department of Conservation, this innovative approach to re-licencing was first developed by former RAL chief executive Dave Mazey as part of the Whakapapa application and further developed for the Tūroa license in conjunction with Ruapehu’s Southern Iwi partners Uenuku and Ngāti Rangi.
Ngāti Rangi Chair Shar Amner, and Uenuku Chair Aiden Gilbert says they are both looking forward to working with RAL in line with their Relationship Agreements. “Our priority is to further establish agreed key initiatives and performance measures that not only protect but, continue to enhance the health and wellbeing of Koro Ruapehu”.
The new licence includes protection of the peaks, waterways and their sources. Both Iwi Chairs agree that upholding their cultural values has been paramount to discussions. “This was to ensure we are all able to continue to enjoy the magnificence and uniqueness Koro offers us”.
RAL Chairman Murray Gribben said "RAL has a very long term view of its role in the community and if not managed appropriately, the impact ski area operations can have on the maunga. We respect the longevity of our relationships with Iwi and the wider community and iwi have set a very high benchmark for our operations."
In response to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts' 2016 application to the Department of Conservation to secure a 60-year lease for the Tūroa ski field operation, Ngāti Rangi's RAL Working Group of Nana Biddy, Whare Te Riaki, Korty Wilson, Kemp Dryden and Dave Milner are leading our comprehensive Iwi consultation process.
While we are developing a work plan for our mahi and Cultural Impact Report, The Minister has announced their intention to grant a 60 year concession for Tūroa consisting of an initial term of 25 years plus 1 extension of 10 years and five extensions of 5 years each.
Please Note: Ngāti Rangi OBJECTS to the way this application process has progressed as the Concession Officerʻs Report has NOT specifically discussed our views on the application and believe the application should not have been approved in principal and encourages all Uri to share their personal whakaaro with the Department.
Ngāti Rangi acknowledges its relationships with DOC and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL). Its relationship with RAL has led to positive initiatives such as the Kahui Maunga Snow Academy and annual Puanga/Matariki Maunga community karakia.
Ngāti Rangi has agreed and remains committed to an engagement plan with RAL in respect of RAL's application for a new licence in respect of the Turoa Ski Area ("application"). The engagement plan allows Ngāti Rangi and RAL to work through the application in a planned and constructive way. Ngāti Rangi had anticipated that this engagement process would be complete prior to DOC commencing its public notification of the application, but this has not proved to be the case.
Ngāti Rangi provides the following points of clarification regarding DOC's Notified Concession Officer's Report to the Decision Maker ("report") regarding the application:
The report does not accurately reflect the Ngati Rangi relationship with Ruapehu, the Crown's assumption of control of the area that includes Turoa ski field, or Ngati Rangi's position in respect of the Application.
Ngati Rangi has not agreed to DOC approving the Application "in principle" or to DOC publicly notifying the Application without a completed Cultural Impact Assessment and other relevant material. DOC has not yet engaged with Ngati Rangi in relation to the content of the Application or the report, including the information DOC has recorded in the Appendix purporting to set out Ngati Rangi's relationship and view of Ruapehu.
Ngati Rangi remains in discussions with DOC and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts with respect to the Application. This statement is provided without prejudice to Ngati Rangi's position.
In September we visited Tūora for our first of a number of hīkoi and hui planned for 2016 and we are also undertaking Cultural, Environmental, Social, Economic impact studies of our own. Heading into the New Year, we plan to have a finalised our Work Plan for 2017 and as soon as we have any updates weʻll be continuing to post updates and pānui here for whānau along with sending out via email to all registered members.
To find out more about upcoming hīkoi, wānanga and hui please click HERE
To view more information about this application from DOC and RAL please click HERE