Auckland, New Zealand’s Orams Marine has reached an agreement with the city’s redevelopment agency, Panuku Development Auckland, to develop an area known as Site 18 into a facility capable of hauling out and servicing large vessels up to 620 tonnes.

The NZ marine industry has welcomed the news, forecasting greater apprenticeship numbers, an increase in jobs and the ability to take full economic advantage of having the America’s Cup in local waters. Limited facilities in New Zealand for adequately hauling out vessels of this size means local companies are regularly turning away work due to lack of space to haul the vessels out of the water.

“This move is a step towards a long-term strategy the marine industry has held dating back to 2000,” says NZ Marine executive director Peter Busfield.

That strategy was to retain parts of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter to create a concentrated marine precinct crucial to New Zealand’s overall marine sector. Deepwater access to the sites, coupled with proximity to logistical needs and the business which Auckland attracts, makes the area unique in New Zealand for hosting a thriving marine precinct.

Orams says it plans to complete the marine elements of the site in time for the next America’s Cup in early 2021. This will allow it to take advantage of the influx of commercial and spectator vessels that will arrive with the regatta.

“The Orams Site 18 project will further enhance our capability of providing quality refits and maintenance on the world luxury yacht market,” says Craig Park, managing director of Orams Marine Services. “The latest 620-tonne travel hoist will allow us to triple our capacity for vessels out of the water. This is a momentous project that will put Auckland and New Zealand at the forefront of the world refit and maintenance industry.”

Orams Marine, led by Neven Barbour and Park, has put significant effort into creating a hub which adds sustainable value to the wider Auckland economy, alongside its positive injection into the marine industry. The new facility is predicted to produce 500 new jobs and significantly increase customer retention.

When completed, the facility will be able to service fishing vessels, ferries, commercial vessels and superyachts.