The Wairarapa Ski Club will be out of action for the entire ski season after it caught fire on Wednesday morning.

Fire crews from Raetihi and Ohakune arrived at the club on Totara St at about 10am to find it well-involved with fire.

The fire was extinguished approximately 45 minutes later, however, pictures taken by members revealed extensive damage.

Wairarapa Ski Club president Rupert Bunny said people's belongings had been ruined.


"It's pretty charred throughout the bottom and there's extensive smoke damage in the sleeping quarters upstairs," Bunny said.

"Luckily at the time, nearly everybody was up on the mountain or in town at Ohakune. Nobody was hurt thankfully. We could have been dealing with a much worse situation."

Wi-fi linked alarm systems were triggered by the smoke from the fire, alerting somebody nearby who informed Fire and Emergency New Zealand firefighters.

There are no reports that the fire was suspicious, a fire investigator examined the scene on the day and an insurance investigation was taking place on Thursday.

Bunny said club members were doing all right following the fire.

"Obviously it's extremely disruptive to the beginning of the ski season and unfortunately the club will be out of action the entire season. It's uninhabitable.

"It's a really sad day for the club having just turned 40 at the beginning of this year. We've never been out of action at all."

The Wairarapa Ski Club was established in the late 70s by a group of enthusiastic skiers from Wairarapa and contains 32 beds.


It is a 20km drive away from the Tūroa ski area and under an hour away from Whakapapa.

Bunny said clubs in close proximity on the Turoa and Whakapapa sides of Mt Ruapehu had immediately offered their support.

"We're really, really grateful for the support from neighboring clubs from both sides of the mountain who we have ties with," Bunny said.

"They've really come out and helped our members who were booked in and offered beds."

The Wairarapa Ski Club committee held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to help out those that had been using the club as accommodation.

Most of them chose to continue their holidays, especially those with kids who had been looking forward to skiing during their break from school.

Bunny said this year's financial position would be affected, but the club will do what they can to accommodate those already booked in for a winter holiday.