Thousands of boating enthusiasts headed to the opening day of the 2015 Auckland On Water Boat Show where many aspects of the successful New Zealand marine industry are being showcased.
From the unveiling of the latest example of Sealegs International’s acclaimed, New Zealand-developed amphibious technology – the Sealegs Interceptor 9000 rigid inflatable boat (RIB) – to all kinds of useful boat and fishing gadgets, marine chandlery and electronics, the capabilities of the local marine industry are very much on display during New Zealand’s largest on-water boat show.
“The Auckland On Water Boat Show showcases so much of our industry – New Zealand technology, New Zealand design and good old Kiwi innovation,” says Peter Busfield, executive director of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association (NZ Marine) which owns and runs the show running at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour from 24 to 27 September.
“People definitely have the choice of imported or New Zealand-made and this show certainly celebrates that choice. However a significant statistic is that 90 per cent of trailer power boats sold in New Zealand are made in New Zealand. We believe that would be one of the highest ratios world-wide.”
Water-based activities are New Zealanders’ most popular pastime with more than one million New Zealanders going boating each year either sailing, fishing, participating in watersports or enjoying cruising. With more than 100 boats sold every week in New Zealand and over a thousand exported each year – the New Zealand Marine Industry plays an important part of New Zealand’s economy.
“Boating in general is a major sporting, outdoor activity for Kiwis. We have a high ratio of boat ownership with one in nine people owning a boat of some kind. This is one the highest boat-owning ratios in the world and the activities of fishing and sailing are on the increase.”
Mr Busfield adds: “A boat show like this is important because when people are buying a boat or boat fittings, they might research it online, but they like to look at and touch the products themselves, to go aboard the boats and talk to someone who’s knowledgeable. It’s very important from the perspective of enjoyable, safe boating that you’ve got the right equipment; you’re relying on it for your safe boating.
“From this very strong home market where Kiwis are buying New Zealand-made boats, many of our boatbuilders and marine component or electronics manufacturers are also successfully exporting into Australia and other countries. The exchange rate changes in recent months have made New Zealand boats and products even more attractive. We have a very high international profile for the quality of our product,” says Mr Busfield.
“To sustain all that boatbuilding and marine manufacturing, the New Zealand Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation, which covers boat building for everything from trailer powerboats to superyachts, continues to go from strength to strength with more 400 apprentices currently employed by 160 member companies.”
View the largest number of companies, exhibiting boats and boating equipment, in one location at the Auckland On Water Boat Show Thursday to Sunday from 10am each day. Tickets are available online from iTicket or at the gate.