Tauranga City Council is surging ahead with a project to create a new, purpose-built marine servicing facility and infrastructure at Sulphur Point, near the Tauranga Harbour Bridge entrance to the city.
The $10 million marine precinct project will create significant opportunities for long-term economic development, business and job creation, and become a hub for the sub-regional marine sector. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is the funding partner and is contributing $5 million as one of the four projects from its $40 million Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Tauranga City Council’s contribution is $5 million (plus land) is to be partially offset by the sale of properties on and near the site. The precinct will provide a base for a cluster of boat building and refit businesses and associated marine services. It is expected to provide jobs and significant economic value to the regional economy. The harbourside location provides the regional marine sector with deep water access to the harbour for berthing, refit and maintenance of vessels.
It will include New Zealand’s largest capacity travel lift of at least 200 tonnes and other necessary infrastructure and space for the marine cluster to be more competitive and grow.
The first stage of the development will involve:
• Redevelopment and stabilisation of the land to prepare for the sale and lease of lots to new and existing businesses.
• Development of 6,500sqm of hardstand space
• Delivery of a 200 tonne travel lift, including all enabling works to allow its operation
• Replacement of the existing seawall to provide new alongside berths
• Installation of new floating or fixed marina berths to support the precinct
The marine precinct project has the support of local authorities, marine industry players and economic development agencies.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the development of the marine precinct was important to ensure Tauranga’s marine refit skill set was not lost to other cities.
“We’re a marine-based city and to maintain, repair and refit marine-based business in our city is important. The project will be commercially focused. The council is managing the development and will operate the hardstand operation.
“There is a lot of activity down there already and the industry is crying out for proper haul-out facilities and other basic amenities. Without this project the business would be lost and that would be a tragedy for a growing, progressive city like Tauranga,” Crosby said.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dave Burnett agreed it was important to be able to service the marine industry in Tauranga.
“Having that service is vital. If the project leads to more jobs then this will be fantastic. More jobs means money going into the economy,” he said.