Stage 2 Resource Consent
Application Growth Plan for Opua Marina
A 173-berth extension of Opua Marina will pump millions of dollars into the Far North economy if it goes ahead. Far North Holdings Ltd has applied for resource consents to extend the 250-berth marina and could begin work on the $13 million project later this year if consent authorities approve the project.
Far North Holdings Chairman Ross Blackman says there has been demand for extra berths at the marina since it was built 15 years ago.
“More than 400 international cruising vessels, on average, use Opua as their port of entry to New Zealand each year. Unfortunately, FNHL do not own any berths, and we don’t have enough private rental berths to keep them here for any length of time, so the Far North is missing out on millions of dollars of business.”
Extending the marina will help to create about 70 full-time jobs at Opua and a further 150 in the Far North
“The maritime estate at Opua has already fostered the establishment of 63 commercial businesses that employ about 250 people. Extending the marina will strengthen these businesses and create opportunities for growth,” says Mr Blackman.
FNHL has discussed the proposal with local businesses for a number of years and also consulted affected Maori. Lodging the resource consent applications represents the start of a conversation with the wider community. The company is also starting to discuss a range of options to relocate the 29 affected pile and swing moorings in the extension area. A new pile moorings area that makes better use of available space will be established south of Ashby’s Boatyard.
“We will try to accommodate preferences for location and water depth where possible. In addition to relocation options, we will ﬁnancially compensate mooring holders and offer to buy privately-owned moorings.”
“Local government through a commercial subsidiary such as Far North Holdings can help to create more favourable economic conditions without drawing on ratepayer funds”
He says the project shouldn’t be seen in isolation, but viewed as an integral part of new tourism infrastructure that includes the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway from Opua to Kawakawa and the Twin Coast – Pou Herenga Tai – Cycle Trail from Opua to Horeke.
“This proposal represents a major investment in one of the Far North’s biggest industries.”
Opua businesses can see growth opportunities if the project goes ahead.
“Overseas boats spend considerable money wherever they go. The more we can keep in this area the better”
Glen Pierce has owned chandlery business Cater Marine Ltd for 10 years. He says the existing marina is unable to cope with demand and the proposed extension is long overdue.
“It’s something for which we have been waiting for a long time.”
He estimates that turnover at his marine hardware and rigging business, which employs six full-time workers, could increase by 20-30% if the marina is extended.
“There hasn’t been much growth down here in the last ﬁve years, but putting another 173 boats out there is deﬁnitely going to be great for our business. We will deﬁnitely have to employ extra staff.”
Extending the marina will also be good for the Far North economy: “Overseas boats spend considerable money wherever they go. The more we can keep in this area the better.”
Boat owners patronise local motels, restaurants and super-markets while their boat is being repaired or serviced. “You’ll see growth through all businesses. It really does ﬂow through to the whole community.”
Extending the marina will be good not just for Opua businesses, but also the Far North economy
Seapower owner Bruce Fuller agrees that a lack of rental berths at the marina, particularly during the peak visitor season, is depriving the local economy of millions of dollars of business each year.
“About a third of our customers come up from Auckland, Rotorua, Tauranga and other parts of New Zealand. A lot of them would leave their boats here if there was space and they would be here every season wanting that work done.” Extending the marina will be good not just for Opua businesses, but also the Far North economy. “They do a lot of touring up and down the coast and spend a lot of money buying fuel, food etc.”
Business opportunities at the Opua maritime estate have already enabled Mr Fuller to increase staff at Seapower from one full-time worker to seven workers since he bought the marine engineering business in 2006. He estimates turn-over will increase by at least 20% and he will need to take on at least two full-time workers, as well as extra part-time workers during the peak season, if the marina is extended.
“It’s all good news as far as I am concerned.”
“The marina here isn’t big enough to cater for the extra demand for summer berth rentals”
Brian and James bought Lowes Marine last year. They support the proposal to extend the marina.
“We know from being here how many yachts from overseas come into Opua, go through customs and then go to Whangarei or Auckland because the marina here isn’t big enough to cater for the extra demand for summer berth rentals”.
They expect to increase turnover and take on extra staff if the project goes ahead.
“We can only see it being beneficial to all businesses at the marina estate, Opua, Paihia and the Bay of Islands in general”.
Comments and Feedback
If you would like to meet with us to discuss our application in detail or have any comments or feedback we would appreciate these.
Bay of Islands Destination Marketing
FHNL have taken an active roll in the strategic marketing of the Bay of Islands by direct involvement in the tourism sector through Port Opua and the property assets in Paihia. Working closely with Fullers, Waitangi Trust, Explore and Copthorne has been a catalyst in pulling major operators in the area together. By pooling their resources and marketing budget it has allowed FNHL the opportunity to generate a far greater impact than individual operators conducting their own smaller individual campaigns. A new destination marketing campaign is being coordinated for the tourism season.
FNHL is also working in its capacity as a member of the Tourism Development Group.
FNHL has identified the importance of creating a strong domestic events calendar to drive tourism numbers to the Far North, increasing revenue across all sectors of the local economy.
Several new national and international events have been secured including:
- NZ and Australian National Power Boat Championship
- Tall Ships Race from Australia
- Bay of Islands Ocean Swim
- Southern Hemisphere Bathtub Racing
FNHL are advising all existing event holders in the Far North how to maximize revenue, advertising, improve marketing, web presence and assisting them to manage and promote with business and marketing plan input.
The Twin Coast Cycle Trail crosses all events and activities in the area allowing FNHL to showcase the whole of the Far North.
Kaitaia Tertiary Educational Campus
Currently the education providers in Kaitaia are dispersed, operating out of unsuitable portacom-type buildings with no open common areas which have little appeal to students and do not create the right environment to encourage learning and attendance. FNHL plans to create an integrated educational campus that focuses all the various education providers on the old council office site at Redan Road, Kaitaia. This will create significant cost efficiencies, with shared reception, shared classrooms, reduced maintenance and operating costs and increased revenue. Creating a proper campus environment in a landscaped setting with a main road frontage and profile will increase the number of students.
By co-locating together, a full comprehensive range of classes and courses can be offered on site, bringing all the students together and creating the right type of environment to encourage greater attendance.
Using the landscaped area at the rear will allow the facility to create a campus feel and allow students to engage with each other in a pleasant open air setting.
The buildings will be completely refurbished around the requirements of each provider.
A single education campus will generate more appeal and greater awareness of what is available within the district and has significant economic benefits.
Stage 1 has been completed and occupied by Kiwidotcom. Stage 2 will see North Tec teaching classes from January 2014.