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Prime Minister Opens New Auckland Fish Market

Prime Minister opens new Auckland Fish Market

$15 m complex welcomed as a showcase for the seafood industry

30 July 2004, Auckland: New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark today officially opened the new Auckland Fish Market, joining business and industry leaders in welcoming the establishment of this $15 million showcase centre for New Zealand's seafood industry.

Located on the Western Viaduct, beside the Auckland headquarters of New Zealand's only publicly listed fishing company, Sanford Ltd, the new fish market complex comprises the country's first electronic seafood auction, New Zealand's first seafood cookery school and a retail complex serving a variety of seafood, gourmet and other outlets.

Welcoming guests to the opening ceremony, Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said the Auckland Fish Market (AFM) had been developed by Sanford, but represented an industry initiative serving the entire seafood industry.

Since AFM started the first trial runs on its digital seafood auctions on Thursday 27 May, the daily auctions have been attracting strong patronage from both seafood buyers and sellers, with seafood products being supplied from many parts of New Zealand.

"Despite winter being a quieter time for fish supply, I'm pleased to advise that yesterday we passed the first $1 million mark in auction sales," Mr Barratt told the audience.

Modeled on its Australian counterpart, Sydney Fish Market, AFM was already developing into a vibrant business centre and would provide a public showcase for New Zealand's seafood industry, something the market has previously lacked.

"AFM will not only benefit fishing companies, but also seafood wholesalers, retailers and their customers including restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and the general public consumer, as well as providing something of tourist drawcard. There is huge potential in this development which will certainly enhance New Zealand seafood's top quality reputation," Mr Barratt said.

Situated on a site bounded by Jellicoe, Madden and Daldy Streets near the fishing industry wharves and the Viaduct basin, AFM's daily, electronic seafood auction will provide the freshest and highest quality seafood to restaurants, retailers and the public from catches brought to the site before 5am each day.

AFM includes New Zealand's first ever dedicated Seafood Cookery School. The fully-equipped school will become a centre of excellence for seafood consumption, educating hotel and restaurant chefs, school and tertiary students and members of the public with the full gamut of skills required to select, prepare and cook seafood in new and exciting ways.

An associated wholesale and retail seafood area, which opens for business tomorrow, will combine showcase seafood shops with grocers, eateries and other food outlets in a market style layout where it is expected locals and tourists will flock to sample outstanding examples of New Zealand and international seafood cuisine.

ENDS


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