top of page

Save Ohakune Tourism

Let's Work Together to Save Our Town & Tourism


“I have major concerns that it will be unsafe for my children, and unsafe for tourists after dark who are using accommodation in the Snowmass and Turoa Village accommodation. This will have negative economic impacts for the entire Ohakune community.”


No one will disagree housing is a requirement, however Kainga Ora standards require triple glazing these days, double glazing is no longer good enough; so existing houses will not be purchased to house those in need, rather KO prefers to build new! Not only that, they want to put them all on 300-450sqm lots, right next door to Carrot Park, 44 in Stage 1 and up to 157 in Stage 2 & 3.

We all make mistakes & learn from them, but Ruapehu District Council (RDC) has just made a huge one which will have long lasting effects that may be irreparable, we need to act fast before it's too late! The situation we find ourselves in, is worse than RAL / Turoa closing, as the impact will be ever lasting; at least if the mountain closed, tourism could pivot with mountain biking and other activities; but if this project goes ahead, we will lose Ohakune forever.

RDC applied for funding (through Crown Infrastructure Partners Covid regional relief fund) to build a housing development in Taumarunui. Due to unknown circumstances the land chosen became unsuitable; so RDC had to pick a build ready piece of land in the district else they'd lose the funding, the only option, Teitei Drive. This money grab, without thinking about the damages it will cause, is essentially the demise of Ohakune. 

Teitei Drive, situated next door to the famous Ohakune Adventure Carrot Park & the Snowmass Subdivision that families have come to love and enjoy in a safe environment. I don't think there is a single New Zealander that doesn't know the giant Carrot and the great family activities around it, something we don't want to lose; and a tourist destination Ohakune cannot afford to lose.



RDC has submitted a Resource Consent (RC) for 46 residential lots in Stage 1, with Stages 2 and 3 totalling over 130-157 properties, all between 300-450sqm in size, so very intensified. In stage 1, there is to be 15 assigned Kainga Ora (KO) Public Housing, 15 to be assigned Worker Accomodation & 14 to be assigned for sale to first home buyers. The project is being driven and marketed by KO, and all questions to council are being forwarded to KO to respond. The resource consent was submitted without any prior consultation with the community or rate payers.

Stage 1 of Ohakune Kainga Ora development in dotted red, stage 2 and 3 shown

Click for larger view

Latest Updates



There are only 12 individuals or families on the housing wait list for Ohakune, so KO are building more homes than needed, thus importing people into the town. What makes it worse, KO wont house those in need now, they rather wait till the end of 2025 by building new because apparently double glazing isn't good enough anymore, triple glazing is the new standard. You just have to look North at how well that worked for Rotorua, also a large Tourist destination; where Kainga Ora turned Fenton street into something out of a western movie, quite fitting for Ohakune where our Mayors name is Weston.

A Kainga Ora Manager said to me "I have not come across any families who have moved into a brand new home who have decided not to look after them", you just have to look at the NZ Herald article where people were moved into brand new homes. 

NZ Herald: There have been police callouts, broken windows, yelling and disagreements.

A huge concern to everyone is, how many more of the 130+ homes that can be built on the site will become KO homes; will we turn into the next Rotorua, will we be remembered as a Lemon rather than a Carrot; will people just avoid Ohakune, rather than make it a destination to stop with their families when travelling North-South.


With regards to the long term accomodation; we understand WPI have offered to purchase some of these homes. What are the commercial terms of the agreement, who governs what entities can buy "long term accomodation", are they discounted? Why wouldn't WPI buy a house off the existing market? What happens if these 15 "long term workers accomodation" properties don't get purchased, will they fall into the hands of KO?


Why has consultation not taken place with ratepayers before the Resource Consent was submitted, RDC Code of Conduct requires the Mayor and Councillors to comply with the LGA to act in the Public Interest, make decisions in an open and transparent manner and not withhold information from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons to do so. As the property is a "ratepayer's" asset they (the ratepayers and residents) are entitled to know what are the terms of the agreement between the parties as to development costs, future ownership and purchase price etc. Such that they can determine whether such agreement is in the best interests of their community and identify any shortcomings as now being experienced with other "shovel-ready" projects.

For example: Tauranga City Council’s Cameron Road upgrading Stage 1 - where the initial budget cost approved by the EMs for the works was $40m, the Government provided $45m, the now cost (not yet completed) is $97.5m. The shovel ready project that RDC proposed was submitted several years ago now and clearly could suffer the same blow-out


RDC has failed to consider the impact this will have on the neighbours surrounding this proposed subdivision, the effects it will have on the Carrot Park, and the long term affects KO will have on Ohakune.


David Holland, the developer that built Snowmass, Rocky Mountain Chalets and Alpine Way, has produced a report you can download here, showing the magnitude of shortcomings, All of this done without any consultation with the rate payers and the community. Visitors staying in the Snowmass subdivision are generally families, wanting to utilise the park; it's a quieter side of town where kids can walk to the park through the access way in safety; party goers often stay closer to the junction for the nightlife. The proposed changes to the pathway from Snowmass to the Carrot Park, will see families having to traverse the proposed subdivision to access the park. 

What about Parking & Traffic? SH49 coming from town over the bridge and the trucks that are going to need to get to the build site; is the Carrot Park going to be littered with dirt from the heavy machinery going through, thousands upon thousands of deliveries of building material, is it even going to be safe having 35 ton diggers on large trucks turning into Teitei Dr to do the infrastructure work?

Who pays if Council go over budget? Ratepayers?


Everyone agrees that housing is required in the district, however Kainga Ora (KO) have not provided any evidence that Ohakune has a need for a social housing development, especially when there is over 60 properties available on Trade Me for under $500k and sections from $110k 

This housing development will relocated people into Ohakune, a town that doesn't even have a GP, let alone a hospital.

Ohakune has the potential to become a new Rorotua, with a different kind of stink; we don't want people relocated to a town that doesn't have the job opportunities and is an expensive place to live, shopping and petrol wise.


This whole deal has been done behind closed doors, until the first notification made on RDC's Facebook page on 20th June 2023.

We have heard from a number of sources, that Minister Megan Woods wanted to do a big sing and dance about the project, so RDC had to keep everything very quiet.

On speaking to Kainga Ora representatives, they admitted to not knowing the area.


This is a PR stunt they thought they could slip under the radar as Ohakune only has a population of about 1000, with 11,000 visitors during peak periods.


Funding was provided to RDC by Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG)

We understand that originally the funding was earmarked for Taumarunui, a much larger (not tourist) town, with year round jobs; and then was changed to Ohakune as it was the only shovel ready land council had available.

If you read the guidelines listed on the CIP Website, its clear that this project was not held back because of Covid19 and it misses many of the terms.

RDC is being short sighted, taking money for a project that will have long term effects on ratepayers and the community.

Read more about What we are doing and the Questions we have asked, also follow our Blog Updates as we receive information and update the public on what is happening.

If you are against this proposed development, please sign the petition here


Save Ohakune was founded by a group of passionate locals who care deeply about the future of our town. We are a non-profit and run by volunteers, and we rely on the support and involvement of our community to achieve our goals. Our team is made up of people with diverse backgrounds and expertise, who share a common vision of a thriving and sustainable Ohakune.

Save Ohakune and the Tourism industry, thus retaining jobs

bottom of page