PGF supports Sky Waka Gondola at Whakapapa to completion
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has supported the Whanganui Manawatū region to diversify its economy with a significant
contribution to the Sky Waka Gondola at Whakapapa, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau
announced at its official grand opening this evening.
In conjunction with Tuwharetoa Trust who are contributing $9.5 million, and others, the PGF has contributed $10 million
to the $25 million project in the form of a loan to enable this key piece of tourism infrastructure to be realised.
“The Sky Waka is one of a kind in New Zealand and is the highest value PGF project completed to date in the region,”
Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“This vital piece of infrastructure will not only dramatically reduce the number of closed days at Whakapapa ski area
for skiing because of its stable performance in high winds and alpine weather, but will also open Mt Ruapehu to all year
round tourism providing access to New Zealand’s highest restaurant, and to a range of walking tracks on Mt Ruapehu,” Mr
“It’s anticipated this project will boost tourism across the central North Island by 500,000 people annually by 2025 and
forecast to double regional tourism income to
$400 million a year by 2028.
“With such high visitor numbers, not only will there be more jobs on the ski field, but the flow on effect will mean
more local jobs will be created for local people.
“The aim of the PGF is to lift the productivity potential of regional New Zealand by empowering communities and enabling
regions’ access to sustainable economic development.
Under Secretary Tabuteau also announced two PGF grants totalling $550,000 to support the Ruapehu District Council in
undergoing vital long-term planning to foster sustainable tourism growth.
“Today is about celebrating the PGF and this Government’s dedication to the regions. Projects such as the Sky Waka have
been made possible by engaging stakeholders and supporting them to plan and execute a long-term vision for the area – to
ensure our communities thrive through sustainable tourism growth and infrastructure,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“I am proud of our work in realising the potential of the regions and supporting the projects announced today that will
lift the Manawatū/Whanganui region.”