New superyacht Industry Group Launches in New Zealand



Frustrated by the lack of support shown to the superyacht sector from within the wider marine industry in New Zealand a number companies in that sector have joined forces to form a new and more powerful association.

The New Zealand Superyacht Group (NZSG) will focus on a number of areas including promoting New Zealand to superyacht owners, fostering collaboration and alignment within the superyacht industry and sharing resources at offshore events.

The twin island nation has the potential to become popular as a superyacht destination but few yachts stay to sample the delights offered by the cruising opportunities.

Yet last season was one of busiest with 57 vessels arriving in the summer, up from 37 visits the season before a figure not seen since New Zealand hosted the America’s Cup fifteen years ago.

NZSG member, Gregg Kelly, CEO of Fastmount Ltd, says the formation of the group has arrived at the perfect time. “Superyacht construction has suffered severe reduction in its potential over the last two years with the closure of several top yards,” Mr Kelly says. “New Zealand needs a group that’s focus is solely aimed at this important part of the marine sector. Fastmount is delighted to be part of this new group, as our business still relies on superyacht construction for a large degree of its sales.”

Another NZSG member is The Produce Company, which provides New Zealand produce to superyachts throughout the Pacific. The company’s export manager and director, John Stokes, says this process is “extremely difficult” as rules for export have not been designed for smaller private orders.

“We have tried for many years at differing government levels both in New Zealand and abroad to improve efficiencies that comply with biosecurity and individual countries rules,” says Mr Stokes. “A collective voice from NZSG will hopefully improve market access and closer working relationships with our Pacific neighbours, which is good for everyone.”

Anchor manufacturer, Manson Anchors, has also joined NZSG with sales and marketing manager, Ned Wood, saying the company is looking forward to working closely with other superyacht companies in New Zealand, and growing its export revenue. “With the huge amount of talent and potential in this market we are excited about the opportunities this new group will offer and what we can offer the group in return,” says Mr Wood.

Superyacht repair, refit and maintenance company, Holton Marine Ltd, has also joined NZSG. “Having been in the industry for almost 30 years, it is refreshing to belong to an organisation that has a positive group orientated direction that will strive to provide a collective support to the superyacht industry,” says company director Rodney Holton.

The managing director of Viking Recruitment in New Zealand, Andrew Howarth, says the company is “delighted to be part of this new group promoting New Zealand as a destination for cruising and refitting.” The company has offices in Auckland, Manila and the UK and specialises in crew management, crew placement, travel and training.

With the New Zealand dollar at its lowest in years against the US dollar, NZSG says it will work to ensure demand for members’ products and services is maximised, as well as maintain close relationships with regulators and share best practice.

Managing director of Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand, and NZSG member, Duthie Lidgard, says a dedicated organisation is needed to grow the country’s superyacht sector. “The needs of the superyacht sector have traditionally been squeezed between the marine leisure and the professional marine industries,” says Mr Lidgard. “The NZSG will fully support its members, who are the best in their field and pride themselves in being able to meet the high standards demanded by owners, guests and crew.”

Among the vessels to visit New Zealand recently have been two of the largest superyachts in the world. Earlier in the year, saw the arrival of the 134m, while 140m Ocean Victory arrived into Auckland in July.

Each visit contributes significantly to New Zealand’s economy through tourism, hospitality and marine services,” Mr Lidgard says. “The formation of the NZSG will allow us to continue promoting the New Zealand superyacht industry to the world and get more of the world’s biggest superyachts to our shores.”

The group currently has 15 members, including luxury tourism operator, Touch of Spice, sailmaker North Sails and marine engineering company, Titan.

NZSG board members will be appointed in the coming weeks.