Plans to develop refit facilities for superyachts have been unveiled as part of the redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront. Construction of the new infrastructure is scheduled to start later this year.
Sea City Projects Ltd, which is managing the redevelopment for Auckland Regional Holdings, said new refit facilities could generate NZ$200m per year and employ 1,500 new workers. The company is putting together packages for private firms interested in taking part in creating the infrastructure. The new plans would allow for up to a half-dozen yachts of 80m (262ft) in length to be worked on simultaneously.
John Dalzell, chief executive and project director for Sea City Projects Ltd, told the website that the plans call for full integration of the water spaces adjoining the western edge of Wynyard Quarter, with new facilities to be created on shore. He added that the new facilities would generate a strong economic impact for Auckland. “While a yacht refit may be worth up to $8m, it is well recognised that associated spending by the owner’s family visiting New Zealand and the vessel’s crew can boost that figure considerably,” said Dalzell.
Dalzell said the idea is to work with existing superyacht facilities at Hobsonville and other locations in Auckland as well as Tauranga and Whangarei. The bulk of future refit work will be carried out at Westhaven, which has the capacity to refit 50 or more superyachts a year.
“There are concerns about our capacity to handle future demand, without the Wynyard Quarter redevelopment, which is currently being resolved,” said Dalzell. “Australia is making major investments in refit facilities, and the industry here needs to be able to assure overseas superyacht owners that we will have the infrastructure in Auckland to undertake refits.”
Dalzell said the plans for Wynyard Quarter would put New Zealand into the top 40 refit locations in the world. “We hope to have achieved a significant increase in capacity by the end of next year, with further capacity increases each year for several years after that,” he said.