The ski manager at Coronet Peak Ross Copland has been appointed chief executive of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL).

He replaces Dave Mazey as the head of the operator on the Ruapehu ski fields.

Mr Copland has been ski area manager at Coronet Peak for four years.

Prior to running Coronet Peak he had a career that included roles in engineering, construction and property, most recently national operations manager for retail property giant Westfield in Sydney.


"Ross's impressive academic and practical background makes him ideally suited to lead the RAL team. He will have the ability to traverse both the practical and business aspects of the role," said RAL board chair Murray Gribben.
Mr Copland is a founder and director of software start-up Zero Harm Farm in Queenstown, as well as a co-founder and director for Engineers Without Borders, a charitable organisation providing engineer volunteers for various infrastructure and relief projects.

"His work and pro-bono experience has meant Ross has had many years of developing excellent stakeholder relationships across a broad range of interest groups" Mr Gribben said

"Ross' experience makes him an ideal person to execute the board's clear aims and aspirations for our ski areas: high quality tourism products that increasingly operate year-round," he said.

Mr Mazey announced his intention to retire in May following 30 years of dedicated service to stewardship of the mountain and an ongoing commitment to improving the RAL offering.

"With the appointment of Ross, the board is pleased to have Dave continuing on a consultancy basis to assist with the hand-over, complete the planning and consenting processes for some of the significant infrastructure projects scheduled for the short to medium term," Mr Gribben said.

"In addition Dave will continue to work with Ngati Rangi, Uenuku and DOC to ensure the renewal of the Turoa licence which expires in 2022, and work with Ngati Tuwharetoa, managing the relationship agreement to reflect our shared values, focusing on preserving and protecting the cultural values and environment within the park."

Mr Gribben said RAL has significant upgrade projects underway which include: the consenting and installation of three new lifts at Whakapapa, a quad chairlift to replace the Waterfall T Bar; gondola out of the base area; an express chairlift to replace the Valley and Knoll Ridge T Bars; plus, at Turoa the upgrade of the Movenpick Chairlift to an express lift. These new lift projects will be supported with investment in increased snowmaking capacity; and new chalet buildings on the upper slopes of both ski areas.