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Sky Waka opening a boost for tourism

Mt Ruapehu’s Sky Waka gondola opens today and is expected to be a ‘game changer’ for tourism in the central North Island.

The gondola travels 1.8km from the top of the Bruce base area to the Knoll Ridge Chalet and at peak times is expected to carry 2400 people per hour.

In June 2018, council chose to buy $1 million of investment bonds in the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts project, which attracted funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, Ruapehu District Council and iwi.

Mayor David Trewavas says the investment had not had an impact on rates, as it came from the TEL fund, which has a diverse investment portfolio including property, bank deposits, shares and bonds.

"Not only is this a good, sound investment, it is a game changer for the tourism industry here. The gondola brings a whole new dynamic to Mt Ruapehu, making it an all-year-round destination, with something spectacular for families and visitors in the summer months, as well as skiers in the winter.

"We have a really good relationship with our neighbour Ruapehu District Council and it was a fantastic collaborative effort with all involved working together for a great outcome."

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