5 Jun 2014

Northland Port positive on marina

8:03 am on 5 June 2014

Tough economic times, combined with poor shoreside infrastructure, mean a Whangarei marina it's buying is always half-empty, Northland Port Corporation says.

The corporation is is buying Whangarei's Marsden Cove Marina and neighbouring commercial space for $6.95 million, funded by an equity and debt mix.

The purchase includes the freehold on the 230-berth marina, plus 1.7ha of land, which includes retail space and the marina office.

Northland Port Corporation is buying Marsden Cove.

Northland Port Corporation is buying Marsden Cove. Photo: PHOTO NZ

It hopes to use the new buy to boost the use of neighbouring land, which it also owns.

But chief executive Graham Wallace said there were no plans to expand the marina because it was only ever half full.

"We'll certainly be looking to create more demand for the existing berths that are at the marina," Mr Wallace said.

"The marina is currently approximately 50 percent occupied, so we're certainly looking to lift occupancy rates there.

"We don't see an expansion of the marina itself but we certainly see considerable scope to develop the onshore infrastructure associated with boat haul out-type facilities."

Reasons for its low occupancy included difficult economic conditions and a lack of shoreside infrastructure, Mr Wallace said.

"We're looking to address that. We see a very positive future for the development there."

Mr Wallace said there was an opportunity to make Whangarei Harbour and Marsden Cove Marina the destination of choice for long-distance yachties.