The exciting news was announced on Friday morning by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones that a $10 million loan will be given towards Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) construction of a $25 million high-speed gondola.

He gave a special acknowledgement to the architects and advocates of the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Development Strategy in announcing a $10 million loan from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

“Mayor Don you are absolutely correct to say that it took an act of solidarity and your efforts need to be emulated in other parts of Aotearoa,” said Minister Jones.

Ruapehu District Council is supporting the project with $500,000 loan along with $1m from Taupo District Council and additional financial support from Ngati Tuwharetoa and other investors. These financial commitments from local government and Iwi to the project was a critical element in gaining central government’s $10m investment in the project.

The gondola is expected to initially attract an additional 300,000 visitors to Mt Ruapehu growing to 500,000, 137 full-time jobs and an additional $50m per annum in visitor expenditure that will ripple through our whole economy.

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