The contract to build the second stage of the Bay of Islands Marina has been awarded to Total Marine Services, a New Zealand company with a branch in Opua. The $10 million project includes the land-based civil works associated with the expanded marina. Work will start in early September and is expected to take 18 months to complete.
An economic report by Auckland-based consultancy ME Economics indicates that the wider financial benefit to the region is in the order of $23m a year from Year Five, when the marina becomes fully operational. And research conducted by the Opua Business Association indicates that businesses in the town have forecast a 44 percent growth in turnover and an estimated 60 new positions as a result.
Far North Holdings, which owns Bay of Islands Marina, has reduced the number of new berths being built to accommodate an increase in the number of larger catamarans making the crossing to New Zealand.
“Larger berths are not widely available in marinas around New Zealand so we’re aiming to catch as much of this growing market as possible,” said Andy Nock, CEO of Far North Holdings, which owns the marina.
In addition to the new berths and marine-based infrastructure the expanded, new-look marina will feature a board-walk frontage and a landscaped recreational area. This will include seating, barbeques, a performance and entertainment stage and a play zone for children.
Mr Nock expects to achieve an occupancy level of 40 percent of available berths within 12 months of the extension to the marina being completed.
“We will start taking reservations on the berths from 1 December 2016 but are only accepting bookings on half the berth number, just in case of any delays during the construction period caused by bad weather or similar unpredictable circumstances,” he said. “We’ve factored into our financial planning a pretty modest initial take-up reflecting this.
In a related development, Bay of Islands custom boat-builder Bluefix Boatworks will move its operation from Kerikeri to state-of-the art boat-building and paint shop facilities being built by Far North Holdings adjacent to the marina. The company will shift its 10 employees to Opua, take on five boat-builders who currently work there and employ up to 15 additional staff.
The $1 million project will see the construction of a new purpose-built facility with Travellift bays, accessed through roller doors 11m high and 10m wide that allow for under-cover boat-building and repairs.
“World-class boat-building, repair, maintenance and painting facilities are an important part of our long-term plan for Opua,” said Mr Nock. “The skills and services offered by the expanding Bluefix Boatworks business will complement the new-look, expanded Bay of Islands Marina and help take boat-building and repair services in Opua to a completely new level, acting as a growth catalyst for the marine businesses already based here.”
Far North Holdings received seven bids for the contract; three for the marina component, three for the civil engineering works and Total Marine Services’ bid for both elements. An extensive, four-month due diligence period led to the final decision earlier this month (July).
“We reviewed each of the seven bids against four main criteria; quality, product specification, delivery and service,” Mr Nock said. “The new, expanded Bay of Islands Marina needs to be a cut above the average in order to attract new business in what is an extremely competitive market, and this starts with the build quality and the materials used.”
Total Marine Services demonstrated a good understanding of Far North Holdings’ vision for Bay of Islands Marina and wove this into its submissions, Mr Nock said. The company had put in a financially competitive bid, backed by the efficiencies involved in being able to undertake both the marine and civil engineering elements of the project.
Tim Yeates, a director of the Total Marine Group, said that winning the contracts to build the new marina extension and seawall would be a significant boost to the local economy. Up to 33 staff would be working on the project and nine of these positions were new jobs that would be filled by people from Opua. In addition, a number of local sub-contractors would be engaged to deliver specific aspects of the project.
About Far North Holdings Ltd
Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL) is responsible for managing and operating the commercial activities of the Far North District Council. These include Port Opua, Bay of Islands Marina, Kaitaia and Bay of Islands Airports, Paihia Maritime Buildings and Paihia Wharf, Williams Road Car Park and the Kaitaia Education Campus.
Since 2005 all of FNHL’s trading surplus has either been distributed to the Far North District Council or reinvested in property and infrastructure within the Far North District. The Far North District Council estimates that without this financial contribution
general rates would have been approximately four percent a year higher, each year, over this period.
FNHL’s mandate includes the support and development of economic activity in the Far North.
For more information please contact:
Peter Heath, Due North Public Relations
firstname.lastname@example.org / 09-4074695 / 021-456353