Jan 12 2021 All Articles

New Zealand's marina and boatyard superstars

New Zealand's marina and boatyard superstars for 2020

There’s no disputing it’s great for boaties to have inside information regarding the likes of the best fishing spots and most accurate weather reading sites. So too, it’s important to know where to find the best marinas and boatyards. Such intel is important as not all are created equal. The American website, Formula Boats tells us choosing a marina is about much more than just a berth and lists the many things to consider.

The New Zealand Marina Operations Association (NZMOA) makes identifying our marina superstars easy, providing the names of commendable NZ marinas and boatyards. This association goes so far as to annually celebrate a top marina and boatyard … as well as other placegetters.

The 2020 marina winner, according to NZMOA, was Auckland’s Gulf Harbour Marina - New Zealand’s largest privately-owned marina. Judges described this marina as a credit to its management team. It can boast a diverse offering and excellent management, they said. Meanwhile, the boatyard at Whangamata Marina received the top boatyard accolade. Also mentioned in the most recent awards announcement are Westhaven Marina (a 1,800 berth marina) and the much smaller Gisborne Inner Harbour Marina.

Rest assured, however, there are plenty of marinas and boatyards elsewhere in the country that are also worthy of praise – a case in point being the Bay of Island Marina, which was voted by NZMOA as best marina in 2019. Judges said they were impressed with this Opua marina’s vision, forward thinking, design initiatives and focus on local and regional development. Also featuring highly in 2019 were Te Ana Marina (Lyttleton), Bridge Marina Travelift Ltd (Tauranga), Marsden Cove Marina (Whangarei), and Gulf Harbour, once again.

The NZMOA awards note excellent management, health and safety adherence, customer satisfaction, and the ability to operate well in sometimes challenging environments. Outstanding initiatives and outstanding individuals are also recognised, and a separate category exists in acknowledgment of impressive environmental performance.

Whangamata Marina received the NZMOA Best Environmental Performance Award for 2020. Judges commented upon its wastewater treatment system, described as a significant investment for a small, privately-owned operation. This marina was recognised for its participation in the Clean Marinas programme and for its long-term environmental commitment. Gisborne Inner Harbour Marina was also commended in this category, with judges noting an impressive amount of work had been done towards improving environmental outcomes.

The spotlight was on Tauranga in 2019 with Tauranga Bridge Marina praised for proactively developing and implementing environmental initiatives including “impressive” recycling facilities and infrastructure for sewage pump outs. In the same year the Tauranga Marine Precinct Vesselworks (which opened in 2018) was highly praised for its commitment to research and investment within the environmental realm.

It is, of course, excellent to see that our marinas and boatyards continue to strive to be better. Be so brave as to say we are spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent marinas and boatyards in New Zealand, and it’s unlikely there will be much argument.

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