Update from Tongariro Centre

Tongariro Centre Manager, Jono Maxwell (pictured left) updates us on what’s been happening at the Centre…


Kia Ora

I have been with the centre now for three months and I am enjoying the journey.

The staff are an awesome bunch that have a definite way of  engaging and empowering our students to have a memorable time and grow themselves in the process.

With winter coming on we are starting to focus on the white stuff and the mountain has a had a few light dustings of  snow.  The big difference this year is that Ruapehu Alpine Lifts have built what they refer to as a ‘snow making factory’, basically a pressurised set up that can produce 220 cubic meters of snow that can then be pumped into the Happy Valley beginners area or up onto the Rock Garden run. There are also two new “Magic Carpets”.  These new lifts and snow machines mean that Whakapapa is getting well set up for  beginner skiers to fully enjoy their day with no long queues or substandard snow conditions. This will be great for beginners and fantastic for our students as they are guaranteed snow for skiing or boarding.

Another key focus for us is bringing our sustainability charter to life. This is  fundamentally how we operate and what footprint we leave on the landscape. I was really impressed with the “Leave no Trace” policy in regards to our students and how they leave the environment as they found it, including the fact that they even carry their personal waste off the  Mountain and out of the National Park.

Another potential angle is engaging with the Government’s “Predator Free 2050 programme”.  At present we do predator trapping around the centre and in the local valleys that contain Whio (Blue Duck). We have submitted an application to the Department of Conservation for funding to increase this initiative and integrate it into our programme. Navigation in the future could involve walking up a steamway, locating trapping boxes, and re-setting them for pest control. Leaving the environment better than it was previously is obviously a key part of our long term sustainability and we will bring you further updates on our progress over time.