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'Don't kill our $2b business for more cafes'

August 28, 2008 IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Marine industry chief pleads: 'Don't kill our $2b business for more cafes & apartments'

Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield today made an impassioned plea for the marine industry to be able to remain in the new Wynyard Quarter development at Westhaven.

Mr Busfield was speaking at the release of the 2008 Market Economics Survey of the Marine Industry, a report that shows the industry is now worth $2.2 billion to the New Zealand economy.

Pointing out that the industry now contributes $717m annually in exports, he said this was forecast to grow to $1.18 billion over the next few years. "But only if we can keep the infrastructure we need at Westhaven."

Mr Busfield says the industry needs the waterfront access in and around Westhaven to commission New Zealand-built superyachts and to refit the world's growing but ageing fleet of existing superyachts.

"These are two of the fastest-growing sectors of the marine industry worldwide," he says.

"We have a great reputation for building sailing superyachts and are currently the third largest builder of these multi-million boats in the world. It is a sector of the market that is almost completely recession-proof and should be a real export-winner for New Zealand.

"However, there is no point in being able to sell and build these lucrative vessels if we have nowhere to rig or commission them.

"The superyacht refit industry is another sector with massive potential for us. There are far more superyachts needing comprehensive refits that there are yards in Europe or North America that can accommodate them.

"Again this is a very lucrative market and we are building a very strong and enviable reputation for the quality of our work.

"However, the simple fact is, without waterfront access and the appropriate infrastructure at Westhaven, neither of these two potentially very lucrative sectors can continue to exist, let alone grow and expand as they should.

"We can only hope that our multi-billion dollar industry is considered more worthwhile than a few more cafes and apartments for downtown Auckland."

The 2008 Marine Industry Market Economics Report Key released today show an industry in very good heart and in a strong position to grow still further.

Key points of the report include:

Current size of Industry: Total size: $2.2 billion Recreational: $1.9 billion Commercial $300 million Value of Marine Industry Exports $717 million 38% of Recreational industry Forecast to grow to $1.18 billion by 2015

Industry growth: Up an average of 7.7% per annum over last two years Up 39% since 2003

Export growth: Up an average of 14% over last two years Strong across all sectors, especially superyachts, racing yachts & manufactured equipment NZ now 3rd largest builder of sailing superyachts in world Global superyacht sales continuing to grow very strongly

Hitting Targets: Marine Industry is ahead of target to double 2005 turnover by 2020 2010 target met in 2008, two years ahead of schedule!

Skills & Training: Boating Industry Training Organisation continues to increase number of apprentices and trainees to meet demands of Marine Industry companies BITO added 20% more apprentices in 2007 + 17% more YTD in 2008 Demand for both skilled and unskilled staff remains high throughout Industry

Infrastructure Under Threat:

Strong future forecasts dependent on industry securing adequate marine precincts at: Wynyard Point (for growth in refits and superyacht commissioning) Hobsonville (to allow development of a strong boat building cluster) Other key marine developments around the country

Staying in New Zealand: Industry strongly believes it can continue to grow and prosper by manufacturing world class boats and marine equipment in New Zealand using a New Zealand based and trained workforce.

www.nzmarine.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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