Job losses after luxury boat yard fire

FINAL PRODUCT: A design image of the yacht Star Fish which was damaged in the fire.
FINAL PRODUCT: A design image of the yacht Star Fish which was damaged in the fire.

More than 20 people have lost their jobs after a devastating fire at an Auckland luxury boat builder's yard which also destroyed a $60 million super yacht.

Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out at McMullen and Wing yacht and boatbuilding in Mt Wellington at about 1am on August 12, but arson had been ruled out. 

The vessel at the centre of the fire, Star Fish, was a 50-metre super yacht being built for Hong Kong-based Aquos Yachts, which was only about six months away from completion.

Commercial manager Michael Eaglen said the fire had left the company with no option but to restructure the business and the devastating news of job losses was given to staff last week.

He said he was not able to say exactly how many people had lost their jobs but confirmed it was more than 20.

Eaglen said the main reason for the job losses was because there was expected to be significant delays before rebuilding could begin as it was expected to be a long time before the cause of the fire was determined and insurance could be settled.

He said the future of the company had been seriously affected.

"It's too early to prejudge if or when we are in a position to rebuild," Eaglen said.

"It was a very painful day. We acted as quickly as we could. It's a big process and we have been involved in one-on-one discussions with all our guys."

Eaglen said discussions with affected workers were progressing relatively well but it was difficult as many of the workers losing their jobs were the "fabric" of the organisation.

"We're working closely with them to help them find reemployment. It's going quite well. We've [identified] opportunities for some of the workers outside Auckland and in Auckland so far.

"McMullen and Wing has a long history of building luxury and high-performance yachts including New Zealand's America's Cup winning yacht Black Magic.

Auckland Now