Who's being bailed at Ruapehu? Accountants. Lawyers.
Here's a photo of the latest welfare beneficiary to be supported by Labour. It's taken straight from the front page of the Price Waterhouse Coopers (Pwc) Administrators report on the ski-field bailout. What an inappropriate photo. Is the skiier a partner in a law or accounting firm? Why not put a photo of a struggling business in Ohakune or Turangi?
In December last year the Government announced $6 million in funding for Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, on top of a $4 million rescue package it received in November. And last week it was announced that the government intends to take a 25% shareholding in the entities set to run Whakapapa & Turoa ski-fields and will loan them money, even though they are "hopelessly insolvent", in the words of the Administrators.
Their report states, "on appointment there were no funds in the company bank account" and that the estimated "Administrators fees & legal costs" currently unpaid "amount to $1.2 million". The report proposes that "Crown Regional Holdings Ltd will forgive $15 million of debt" and all "Administrators fees & costs will be paid in full".
So is the deal is that you - the taxpayer - pay accountants & lawyers $1.2 million, and on top of those fees, subsidize the skier in the photo, who may also be an accountant or lawyer?