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$2m for Northland marine engineering initiative

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Economic Development

1 April 2008
Media Statement
Embargoed until 10am 1 April 2008

$2m for Northland marine engineering initiative

The Labour-led government is investing $2 million that will benefit Northland by enabling luxury megayachts and specialised steel-hulled ships to be constructed and fitted out in Whangarei, Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

“Northland already has world class capability in the marine sectors, and has identified an opportunity to extend this expertise to larger, higher value projects in both the ship and yacht building sectors,” Pete Hodgson said.

“Funding from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) will help ensure that Northland has the infrastructure and marketing resources required to make the most of this opportunity.”

The Whangarei Marine Engineering Initiative will help the region extend its capability into more specialised areas, including large steel-hulled vessels and luxury steel and alloy “megayachts”. This will also extend the region’s existing repair and re-fit capabilities to vessels up to 95 metres in length.

“The initiative is expected to cost upwards of $20 million to complete, with the private partners making a significant contribution to the project.

“This has the potential to transform New Zealand’s capability and offerings to the international shipbuilding and heavy engineering markets. It complements other developments the industry, such as the Hobsonville Marine Precinct which last year was approved $2 million to develop facilities to build superyachts up to 60 metres in length.

“NZTE’s investment paves the way for other parts of the Whangarei initiative, such as further development of marine training courses, to be negotiated. As such, this is a good example of industry working in partnership with local and government agencies across the fields of economic development and education,” Pete Hodgson said.


ENDS

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