Bid to save Chateau Tongariro Hotel launched

The Chateau Tongariro Hotel has been closed since February 2023. Photo: Getty Images
The Chateau Tongariro Hotel has been closed since February 2023. Photo: Getty Images
The Ruapehu District Mayor is calling on the public to sign a parliamentary petition urging the government to preserve the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and restore it to its former glory.

The petition said that while negotiations were under way and decisions are pending from government officials, the future of the deteriorating central North Island hotel hung in the balance.

Wes Kirton told RNZ's Midday Report today the council wanted the government to act quickly.

"We want them to give some respect to the fact that our community is reliant on tourism, reliant on the Chateau being revived, and we want them to act pretty quickly.

"The government needs to come with a timeline as to when they can start addressing some of these outstanding issues."

The Chateau was forced to close in February last year after a seismic assessment deemed it "very high risk" with an E-grade earthquake rating.

It was also found to need critical work to make it weathertight and halt further deterioration.

Since then, the hotel has sat empty and has been been left to languish.

Kirton said the Chateau was more than just a historic landmark and its closure has severely impacted the region's tourism economy.

"Before its closure, it was a major economic driver employing over 70 staff, attracting high-spending tourists, and contributing around $10 million annually to the local economy."

Kirton said the hotel was leaking, moisture was a big issue, and chattels and historical items such as photos and art works were deteriorating.

The land was owned by the Department of Conservation with taxpayers spending about $2 million a year on maintenance.

"It's an important part of not only the region's heritage, but of course New Zealand's heritage as well," Kirton said.