27 May 2012
Auckland to capitalise on superyacht development
Auckland is set to benefit from more marine industry jobs and growth in regional GDP following a decision on the funding of a commercial development to service superyachts.
Recent years have seen much investment by Auckland into the facilities on offer to visiting superyachts, particularly the new six berth Silo Marina in the Wynyard Quarter. The very welcome construction of the Silo Marina upped the number of yachts able to dock in the city centre, and also provided berths in easy proximity to the main refit facilities in central Auckland.
As The Superyacht Group's own research has shown – particularly in Superyacht Intelligence's recent Economic Analysis of the Superyacht Industry – visting superyachts are worth millions of dollars in economic impact each year, and capatilising on this is well worthwhile. With a fleet of nearly 4500 yachts, the potential number of yachts that could be visiting New Zealand is huge, and this potential has been taken very seriously by Auckland. To further capitalise on sector growth and to allow Auckland (and New Zealand) to take a leading role in the competitive international marine industry, council controlled organisation Waterfront Auckland will now progress with plans for a new development to complement the Silo Marina berths.
The Council’s Strategy and Finance committee yesterday confirmed Waterfront Auckland would be able to fund the project as a commercial initiative, funded through Waterfront Auckland debt, with no direct impact on the ratepayer. Recent concerns raised by New Zealand saw objections to these developments being funded using New Zealand taxpayer money, but these concerns now seem to have been assuaged.
Waterfront Auckland Chief Executive John Dalzell is delighted with the decision that the development of the facility should proceed: “It was a matter of us not letting the opportunity go by, and whilst we won’t have final confirmation of the councils backing until next month, it is a major step that has been made and I’m glad that the majority of councillors have seen the potential from this important economic development project.”
Thanks to some lateral thinking and ongoing work with the marine industry, Waterfront Auckland put forward an alternative approach to the original $15m superyacht refit facility in response to the Mayor’s calls for fiscal prudence. “The revised option achieves an $8 million saving on the original proposal. Waterfront Auckland has succeeded getting approval for a proposal which will bring both jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefit to Auckland.”
Executive Director of the New Zealand Marine Industry association Peter Busfield says the decision is a great boost for the industry and will gain the country additional foreign exchange earnings: “This project has the ability to deliver over 200 new jobs including many apprenticeships for Auckland, and an ability for Auckland to maintain a foothold in the fast growing billion dollar global superyacht refit market.”
Mr Dalzell says the proposed development will go a long way to meet current demand and with the ongoing support and assistance from key parties in the marine industry we look forward to growing existing facilities for the benefit of all Aucklanders.
We will follow the development with interest and keep readers updated as this progresses.
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