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Superyacht Facility For Whangarei

A new $80 million superyacht facility to be built in Whangarei is an excellent example of how government and community partnership can facilitate economic development, says Associate Minister for Economic Development Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson said the new facility, confirmed at the weekend, was expected to create 120 new jobs this year and hundreds more in succeeding years.

The facility will be developed by a newly formed New Zealand company, New Zealand Yachts Ltd, founded by New Zealander Allen Jones. Mr Jones is returning to New Zealand to establish the business after a successful business career in the United States.

"Government and Whangarei community agencies have worked together quickly and effectively to help make this development happen," Mr Hodgson said. "The result is a project that already has export orders worth $30 million, for three superyachts. Annual earnings of about $120 million are expected from 2003 onwards, from superyacht building and refits."

The initial investment to purchase a site from Northland Port Corporation has been completed. Further investment in factories, residential and hotel facilities is planned, the timing depending on demand. Work at the port site begins this week.

The development was facilitated by Investment New Zealand, a division of Trade New Zealand, which brings high-value investors to New Zealand to examine opportunities. The Ministry of Economic Development, Whangarei District Council, Northland Regional Council, the local Maori community, the Department of Conservation, the Department of Work and Income and Technology New Zealand have also shown a commitment to ensuring the development proceeds.

"The success of this project is due to the cooperation and effective assistance that government and the community were able to offer," Mr Hodgson said. "No special Government inducements were sought. Instead New Zealand Yachts was offered very speedy access to a variety of Government services and programmes. The company needed a very rapid official response so it could get the facility up and running before the next America's Cup. I'm pleased It got that response."

Ends

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