The NZ Marine Industry (NZMI) is planning to grow the size of the New Zealand marine industry by an ambitious 55% over the next five years. NZMI expects the industry to grow from $1.71 billion this year to $2.66 billion in 2015. Marine industry exports are expected to grow by around 55% over that period, from $0.72 billion to $1.11 billion.
“This is not only good news for our industry and our members,” says NZMI executive director, Peter Busfield, “it also represents a very significant growth in our contribution to the New Zealand economy.”
While the industry’s targets are ambitious they are also realistic, based on a recovering market for large superyachts, new infrastructure in key ports around the country and several bold new initiatives, including promotions during next year’s Rugby World Cup.
While some sectors of the world economy still appear sluggish, high-ticket items such as superyachts appear to be bouncing back strongly. For example, in the 14 months to September last year, local boat builders did not manage to secure a single order for a new superyacht. In the last 11 months, they have signed 10, worth an estimated half a billion dollars.
“There has also been a pronounced pick up in the numbers of large pleasure boats coming here to undergo lucrative refits,” says Peter Busfield. “Importantly, vital infrastructure is now either complete or under construction, meaning we are very well poised to take advantage of the recovering world economy.”
Other key developments are also underway at Wynyard Point, Hobsonville and Gulf Harbour in Auckland and at Whangarei, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wellington, Marlborough, Nelson and Lyttleton.
Although superyacht new build and refits are expected to contribute significantly to the industry’s target of $2.7 billion per annum by 2015, they are by no means the only sectors of the marine industry forecast to grow strongly in the next five years.
For example, marine equipment sales feature predominately in the forecast and are expected to reach around $600 million per annum by 2015 and top more than $700 million by 2020. Launches, yachts, power trailer boats and other marine services are also forecast to enjoy substantial growth over this period.
Recognising that one of the keys to a successful marine industry is the skill of its employees, the high-performing NZ Marine Industry Training Organisation (NZ Marine ITO) is again breaking new ground by introducing its new on-line Learning Management System, RudderLive. RudderLive is an advanced on-line LMS that allows apprentices and trainees to study when, how and where they like, simply by accessing the website.
Peter Busfield says, “the combination of an improving international economy, a better focused and stronger performing marine industry in New Zealand, vital new infrastructure and better trained, more enthusiastic craftspeople is a fantastic combination. We believe it is the perfect recipe for the successful expansion of our industry; and our industry’s ability to continue to make a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy.”