No more smok­ing on this vol­cano

Taupo Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Mt Ruapehu is about to be­come a non-smok­ing vol­cano.

Breath­ing in the cool fresh air on the slopes is about to get fresher with the moun­tain’s two main ski­fields adopt­ing a smoke­free pol­icy.

The oper­a­tor of the ski­fields Ruapehu Alpine Lifts - has de­cided it no longer wants the moun­tain shrouded in cig­a­rette smoke

and has adopted a smoke­free pol­icy in all in­door and out­door ar­eas of both ski fields - just in time for the open­ing of the ski sea­son.

Mt Ruapehu gen­eral man­ager of peo­ple and per­for­mance Andy Hoyle, said there were many rea­sons that the time felt right to make the moun­tain smoke­free, one of which is the Govern­ment’s goal of a Smoke­free Aotearoa by 2025.

‘‘That is some­thing, we as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, sup­port and be­lieve in,’’ he said.

‘‘In the end we’re in the busi­ness of sports and leisure and as part of that it’s im­por­tant to pro­mote and sup­port healthy lifestyles, not just for our staff but for the gen­eral pub­lic as well.’’

While in­door ar­eas of the ski fields are al­ready cov­ered by smoke­free laws, the new Ruapehu pol­icy will ex­tend to all out­door pub­lic use ar­eas of Whaka­papa and Turoa.

‘‘The other as­pect of this is that we are priv­i­leged to op­er­ate in the pris­tine sur­rounds of Ton­gariro Na­tional Park, a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site,’’ Hoyle said.

‘‘Any­thing we can do to pre­serve and pro­tect our part of it – from cleaner air to fewer cig­a­rette butts lit­ter­ing the ground – we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to do.’’

All vis­i­tors to the moun­tain light­ing up this sea­son will be po­litely asked to re­frain by staff.

‘‘In the end it’s about cre­at­ing a more pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment for every­body to en­joy the moun­tain,’’ Hoyle said.

*Happy Val­ley will open Fri­day, June 1 and will of­fer free ski­ing and snow­board­ing from 11am-2pm.

A young skier learns the ropes at Happy Val­ley.

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