Ruapehu Alpine Lifts reportedly goes into liquidation

  • 21/06/2023

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts has officially been put into liquidation on Wednesday morning. 

The company appeared in the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday, RNZ reports.

John Fisk and Richard Nacey have been appointed liquidators.

The company, which was one of the central North Island's biggest employers, went into voluntary administration last year owing $45 million.

It comes after thousands of creditors, including lifepass holders, bondholders, mountain staff, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and ANZ bank, voted on Tuesday on who will take over from the insolvent Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL).

They voted on three options and it ended in a stalemate following the watershed meeting. 

The option chosen was Resolution C: Returning RAL to the directors' control, which would lead to them seeking liquidation.

The voluntary administrators' report released last week warned the option of returning the company to its directors is a "worst-case scenario" because the company is "hopelessly insolvent".

But Whakapapa Holdings' Dave Mazey told Newshub he's still hopeful his equity partners can stitch up a deal post-liquidation.

"We are trying to get a ski field open and get a business back in operation for the communities the central North Island," he said.

But the Department of Conservation is still finalising licenses with iwi so both private bidders can operate on the sacred mountain they call home.

"If we can get to the point we were yesterday then there is nothing to stop this company taking on the Whakapapa Ski area in a few days," Mazey said.

Pure Tūroa is confident it too can open the mountain.

"Once appointed as liquidators, PwC has indicated they will then proceed immediately with Pure Tūroa and Whakapapa Holdings for settlement of their respective sale and purchase agreements," Pure Tūroa said.

"The Crown is also working closely with iwi to enable assignment of the DoC Concessions to Pure Tūroa and Whakapapa Holdings in the very near future.

"Given the above, Pure Tūroa Ltd is very confident that we'll get operations underway towards the end of next week. In the meantime PwC will operate the business as liquidators following the court hearing. RAL staff will remain employed and be paid without disruption."

It is still unclear whether the mountain will open this ski season.