Whangārei Marina hopes to entice more Auckland boaties to hire or buy new berths just down from the Te Matau ā Pohe bascule bridge.
The country’s largest boat show was just the hook Whangārei Marina needed to lure more yachties into buying new marina berths in Whangārei Harbour.
Whangārei Marina manager Brian Caulton said his staff fielded a lot of interest during the Auckland Boat Show, held over four days last week in Jellicoe Harbour, from boaties for planned new berths just downstream of the Te Matau ā Pohe bascule bridge.
The marina had a stand in one of the pavilions at the Auckland Boat Show that attracted more than 150 exhibitors over four days, showcasing domestic and international marina businesses, including vessel manufacturers and boat brokers.
The Whangārei Harbour Marina Management Trust is building 114 berths and the clearing of mangroves and dredging works will start in the coming weeks and take a year to complete.
One-third of the new marina berths in Whangārei Harbour have already been snapped up.
“We had a lot of interest at the boat show, and although we didn’t get deposits, there are a lot of people we’ll follow up with this week. Our prices were very good in the market,” Caulton said.
A couple of Whangārei residents turned up, and there were quite a few that visited the stand who were thinking about relocating to Whangārei, he said.
“We felt quite positive after the show, and we’ve got a couple of people who enquired about the bigger berths. Most interest was towards [the] buying of berth licences.”
Coulton said since the new berths were about two years from completion, the marina has berths at the Town Basin that Auckland boaties could utilise once international sailors set sail in May.
The trust has ordered 250 piles for the start of land reclamation, and they will be delivered by the end of April.
The new marina can accommodate boats up to 35 metres long, and an office building with parking will be built on a reclaimed area as part of the project.
Sales to raise capital started two days before Christmas and the trust hopes to raise $15 million from the sale of berths, while the Whangārei District Council has loaned $5m.
A Northland-based company will undertake the $20m project, just up the harbour from Limeburner’s Creek and accessed off Port Rd, and at least 94 people are expected to be employed during the construction phase.
According to a report prepared by Market Economics around 2019, the local economy is expected to earn $9.4m each year from berthing fees, retail spending and tourism-related activities once the marina is fully functional.
Northland Regional Council publicly notified the consent application for the new marinas and associated work in September 2018, and eight of the 10 submissions received supported the venture.
Resource consent for the works runs until 2054.
The trust has 109 moorings at Kissing Point and a 173-berth marina at the Town Basin.