Yacht builder’s site looks ideal for ma­rina

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Taryn Utiger

The sale of Fitzroy Yachts’ build­ing at Port Taranaki has re­newed calls for a new ma­rina.

In Jan­uary man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rod­ney Martin an­nounced Fitzroy Yachts would close af­ter its fi­nal build, Es­capade, was fin­ished, with 120 jobs lost.

The com­pany’s for­eign-based owner was now plac­ing the plant up for sale, Alan John­ston of Bay­leys Taranaki said.

The har­bour-side build­ings, plant and equip­ment are listed for $5.7 mil­lion, or for $7m the deal would in­clude Fitzroy Yacht’s in­tel­lec­tual property and yacht plans.

John­ston said the sale of the for­mer Fitzroy Yachts com­plex had reignited calls for a large-scale do­mes­ti­cally fo­cused commercial and leisure ma­rina in New Ply­mouth.

He said the commercial ma­rina was ini­tially high­lighted in a 2006 fea­si­bil­ity and cost/ben­e­fit re­port un­der­taken by Busi­ness and Eco­nomic Re­search Limited (Berl).

The re­port said that while Port Taranaki’s ex­ist­ing ma­rina pro­vided ba­sic swing-line moor­ings, the re­gion’s ma­rine sec­tor ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties were largely un­der-de­vel­oped.

‘‘New Ply­mouth is the only ma­jor coastal town in New Zealand with­out a ser­viced ma­rina,’’ the re­port said.

Po­ten­tial on­shore fa­cil­i­ties in­cluded a fu­elling jetty, chan­dlery and car park­ing. John­ston said the for- mer Fitzroy Yachts lo­ca­tion met vir­tu­ally ev­ery cri­te­rion iden­ti­fied by the re­port and Port Taranaki had al­ready in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to lease additional wa­ter­front land.

‘‘When the Berl re­port was re­leased in 2006, a large por­tion of the lo­cal busi­ness pop­u­la­tion in­di­cated that the land and ameni­ties around the Fitzroy Yachts lo­ca­tion would have been ideal for the es­tab­lish­ment of such a ma­rine hub,’’ John­ston said. ‘‘How­ever, with Fitzroy Yachts then as the an­chor ten­ant and show­ing lit­tle in­cli­na­tion to re­lo­cate, that op­tion was never re­ally pur­sued fur­ther.’’

A lot of the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture was al­ready in place for an ‘‘all-en­com­pass­ing ma­rine ser­vices hub’’, he said. The lo­cal econ­omy was los­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause it did not have the fa­cil­i­ties in place.

‘‘There is a fleet of squid boats op­er­at­ing along the in­ner Taranaki coast­line, with tuna and deep-sea trawlers op­er­at­ing fur­ther out. These ves­sels cur­rently by­pass New Ply­mouth for their steve­dor­ing and main­te­nance re­quire­ments.

‘‘Ad­di­tion­ally, there is the po­ten­tial for ex­pan­sion of the heavy in­dus­try ma­rine sec­tor ser­vic­ing sup­port ves­sels for the off-shore oil and gas rigs.’’

The Fitzroy Yachts’ build­ings sit on some 12,000 square me­tres of land which is cur­rently leased from Port Taranaki through to 2022.

Photo: ROBERT CHARLES/FAIR­FAX NZ

Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion: The for­mer Fitzroy Yachts build­ing is on the mar­ket.

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