The Bay of Islands has the best international marina in the Asia-Pacific region according to the Marina Industries Association (MIA), the organisation representing the marina and related service industries in this part of the world. Bay of Islands Marina in Opua won the award last night at the association’s 2019/2020 Club Marine Marina of the Year Awards on Australia’s Gold Coast.
This is the first time in the 17-year history of the event that a New Zealand marina has won this award, viewed widely throughout the industry as prestigious.
Auckland’s Westhaven Marina and China’s Sanya Serenity Marina were on the shortlist along with Bay of Islands Marina.
There are 10 categories in the Awards, which are conducted every two years by the MIA. Entries are judged by members of the association’s executive board.
The judges were impressed by the demonstrably high level of service offered to customers, from arrival and Customs clearance through to the work conducted by the boatyard and the excellent marine service industry at Opua, all of which enhance the marina’s reputation as a favoured destination for yachties traversing the Pacific.
Far North Holdings general manager Chris Galbraith said the award was a vindication of the time, effort and attention to detail that had gone into the recent expansion work at the marina.
“All the way through we have looked at this project through as many lenses as possible and done whatever we could to ensure that the product lives up to the expectations of our customers, our service industry tenants, our staff, our communities here in the Bay of Islands and our shareholders – the ratepayers of the Far North in the form of our single owner, the Far North District Council.
Mr Galbraith thanked all the businesses based in the Opua Marine Park, and the residents of Opua, for their support and patience during construction at the marina.
“There is still heaps of work to do, not least the marina’s physical integration with the community of Opua through the development of a playground and an exercise track linking us with the school and the rest of the village. But one of the reasons we won this award is because when we do things, we do them at a pace and to time-scales that ensure we can do them properly and to an outstanding quality.”
Far North mayor John Carter said he was “blown away” by the thought that Bay of Islands Marina had been awarded the accolade.
“We speak all the time about building and maintaining ‘world class’ infrastructure and facilities here in the Far North and this award proves we are able to turn that aspiration into reality,” he said. “The staff and management of Bay of Islands Marina, along with the Board of Far North Holdings, should absolutely be commended for the foresight, dedication and expertise that has gone into creating and maintaining not just this award-winning marina, but all of the district’s marine infrastructure.”
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.
FNHL’s mandate includes the support and development of economic activity in the Far North.
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.