Business, Community

Marina’s multi-million dollar boost for Marlborough

The Waikawa Marina extension is expected to inject almost $20 million into Marlborough during its 18 month construction phase.

The 252-berth extension of Waikawa Marina was given the go-ahead by the Port Marlborough board last month.

Port Marlborough CEO Rhys Welbourn says the $20 million project would be put out to tender soon, with construction due to start mid-year.

Port Marlborough commissioned an economic impact report of the project as part of the resource consent process for the extension.

“The study found up to $19.5 million could be injected into the local community during the 18 month construction phase, through jobs and demand for services such as hospitality and accommodation,” he says.

“And the ongoing economic impact of the marina expansion is estimated to bring an annual additional expenditure of $2.4m in the Marlborough region, through boat repair and maintenance and hospitality.”

Depending on how much of the marina componentry and civil works were sourced locally, the report estimated that 40 to 90%, or $6.4m and $14.4m, of construction costs for the marina expansion would be spent in Marlborough.

The main industry groups to benefit locally would be quarries, transport providers, trades people, engineering consultants, landscapers, marine service providers, construction material suppliers and accommodation and hospitality providers.

Oddies Marine owner and keen sailor Aaron Blackmore says the marina extension was great for boaties and businesses alike.

“Absolutely it’s great, the extension will make the marina about 25% larger, which means more boats, more people and more work for all businesses involved in the marine industry.

“But it’s not just the marine industry to benefit, all these extra visitors to the region have to eat and sleep somewhere, they’re shopping and having other experiences around town while they are here too.”

Vining Marine owner Ian Michel says the Waikawa marina was a focal point for the boating community and it was renown around the world for being world class.

“There is no shortage of boats that want to be here, we’ve got all the amenities here, it’s a beautiful location, it absolutely makes sense to open it up for more people to enjoy.”

The extra marina space would help make the existing businesses servicing the area more sustainable, he says.

“I take on people in spring and summer but we’re not currently busy enough to keep them all year round.

“With another 250 boats in the marina hopefully I can employ staff all year round – they’re all generally local, so it’s a big boost for the community.”

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