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Jobs Machine Delivers

4 February 2001

Jobs and new export earnings in a high-tech industry from a major Jobs Machine success…

A super-yacht development in West Auckland announced today will deliver up to three hundred and fifty new jobs within two years, and up to six hundred million dollars of new export earnings over five years.

The development will showcase New Zealand as a world leader in the high-skill, high-value super-yacht industry.

Expat-kiwi Bill Lloyd is returning to New Zealand to expand his super-yacht building company, Sovereign Yachts. He is establishing a high-tech super-yacht facility on surplus land at Hobsonville Air Force Base.

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton was joined by Prime Minister Helen Clark, Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey and Bill Lloyd of Sovereign Yachts at the Hobsonville base today to announce the development.

"The Government established the Jobs Machine to take a partnership approach to transforming the economy. Sovereign Yachts is an example of the successful enterprises the Government is working in partnership with. We are developing job-rich new export industries based on the unique skill and creativity of New Zealanders," Jim Anderton said.

Trade New Zealand's Investment NZ was the first point of contact when Sovereign decided to explore the location of their manufacturing facility in New Zealand. Working alongside Trade New Zealand and with the support of the boating industry, the concept of locating in Hobsonville was developed.

This Government made a decision to seek the early release of the Hobsonville Airbase from airforce requirements. It then entered an open process to ensure that any company would have the same opportunity as Sovereign Yachts.

"This investment wouldn't have happened without the Government's Jobs Machine. The Ministry of Economic Development worked in partnership with Waitakere City and with the Defence Force, taking a whole-of-government approach," Jim Anderton said.

"The opportunity arose because of the availability of surplus Defence land. The result will be the productive use of the land, generating considerable employment opportunities and infrastructure investment for Auckland.

"Downstream benefits in increased demand for local services will multiply the overall benefit of this investment for West Auckland and New Zealand.

"Sovereign Yachts' commitment to develop and grow its business locally means that substantial economic development benefits will come to New Zealand, and not to Canada or somewhere else in the world.

“The world market for super-yachts is rapidly expanding, and New Zealand's abilities are being showcased by Sovereign Yachts along with last year's decision by New Zealand Yachts Limited to establish its operations in Whangarei."

The Government has not provided any financial incentive to secure the Sovereign Yachts commitment. The Government's contribution has been to provide leadership through the Ministry of Economic Development to clear the obstacles to productive use of the surplus land.

Sovereign Yachts has purchased four hectares of land that was previously a part of the Hobsonville Air Force Base. Many Government departments, and especially Defence co-operated with local government in the disposal process under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development.

The Public Works Act required that the land was offered to the former owners and their successors. The former owners repurchased the site for its current market value, $523,125 (including GST) and on-sold it to Sovereign Yachts.

It's expected that the Government will receive an extra $25 million in tax revenue from the development over the next five years.

Sovereign expects to make new investment in on-site infrastructure valued at $18 million and to generate export contracts worth $100-120 million in each of the following three to five years.

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