Yacht builder's site looks ideal for marina

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 08:34 30/06/2014

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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 re- ignited 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 former 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.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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