Council organisation, Waterfront Auckland is inviting tenders for the long-term lease and development of its Wynward Marine site, located on the western edge of Auckland’s waterfront.

The 16,000m2 site, and water space licence for the surrounding 10,663m2 is positioned adjacent to the superyacht-focused Silo Marina, and as such, Waterfront Auckland is targeting refit yard operators, developers and investors.

“The site is unrivalled in terms of its access to a city centre, a thriving marine business cluster and some of the South Pacific’s finest cruising grounds,” explained Waterfront Auckland’s CEO, John Dalzell. “There’s no doubt these attributes, combined with the convenience and access to a local talent pool of world class operators and designers, will provide a competitive advantage over other international yard locations.”

The country’s superyacht industry has though, suffered a series of setbacks in recent times, down in no small part, to the strength of its currency. However, according to Charles Purdy, the director of Smart Currency Exchange, its value is starting to fall, with a recent two per cent drop sparked by “the nation’s central bank governor singl[ing] out how historically high the currency is.”

Any devaluation of the dollar will offer the industry’s exporters, and those who rely on inward investment, encouragement. Indeed, buoyed by a modest upturn in activity, industry association Destination New Zealand is taking renewed steps to catalyse inward investment in the form of visiting superyachts.

Speaking to at the recent Monaco Yacht Show the organisation’s Justin Watson said the aim was to double the number of visiting superyachts within five years. Government lobbying on issues such as crew salary tax exemption, alongside investments in marketing, will no doubt contribute to achieving this.

And, as reported on, a recently signed Yachting Developments project, which will require the appointment of 40 new staff, is ‘being built for a European owner [showing] that for some owners the distance is a willing price you pay for Kiwi quality.’

Interim use of the Wynward Marine development site has seen it operate as a home base for the Luna Rossa America’s Cup challenge in 2012-13, and more recently as a mast stepping location for rigging specialist, Southern Spars.

Initial assessments by Waterfront Auckland suggest a facility could cater for large superyachts of 600-2000 tonnes. The site can also accommodate a full range of haul out facilities.

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