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New Zealand's top marinas and boatyards celebrated

by Wilde Media 2 Nov 2020 19:48 NZDT
Tony Sparks (left) and Mike Keown (right) of Gulf Harbour Marina with Bianca Cook (centre) of NZ Ocean Racing © NZMOA

The New Zealand Marina Operators Association (NZMOA) has recognised New Zealand’s very best marinas and boatyards for 2020.

Gulf Harbour Marina in Auckland has been named the NZMOA Marina of the Year.

Judges say that the marina, which is based a short drive north of Auckland, and the largest privately-owned marina in New Zealand, is a genuine credit to its management team.

“Gulf Harbour Marina has a diverse offering, well managed, and they make great use of what they have. Other private marinas could strive to emulate their model,” said the judging panel,

Westhaven Marina was also highly commended by judges for operating an 1,800 berth marina very successfully in a challenging environment. “There are a large number of projects underway at Westhaven that are very disruptive, and it’s remarkable what this team has achieved,” said the panel. “They have high levels of customer satisfaction and their team approach is a strength”

The boatyard at Whangamata Marina was named NZMOA Boatyard of the Year. The operation in the small holiday town of Whangamata is highly regarded within the industry, and run by a very well organised small team who show great attention to detail with regards to health and safety compliance and environmental impacts.

Whangamata Marina also received the NZMOA Best Environmental Performance Award. Its wastewater treatment system, a significant investment for a small, privately owned operation, is a demonstration of the operation’s long-term environmental commitment, as is its participation in the Clean Marinas programme.

Gisborne Inner Harbour Marina was also commended by judges in this category, who said that an impressive amount of work had been done towards improving environmental outcomes through this highly local 46 berth marina.

Westhaven Marina took the Outstanding Initiative Award for its Load’n’Go berth. A berth for commercial operators to load and unload passengers, the facility was praised as an example of a marina team thinking on its feet to plan ahead for the America’s Cup.

The Nylonut system, developed by Darcy Blackmore, was also acknowledged in this category by judges as a deceptively simple innovation that has the potential to benefit the wider marina industry both here and abroad.

The 2020 Outstanding Individual Contribution Award was presented to Kevin Lidgard. Kevin is currently General Manager of Marinas at Panuku Development Auckland. He is a long standing member of the marina and boatyard industry who collaborates for the good of the industry, shares knowledge, and contributes extensively.

Organised by the New Zealand Marina Operators Association, the awards were established to recognise and celebrate excellent practice in the marinas industry.

Four independent judges joined a team of industry experts to judge the programme:

Des Brennan: Des is a Chartered Fellow of the institute of Directors, and former CEO of Yachting NZ. During his career he has provided leadership to some of New Zealand’s foremost organisations. Des is also an experienced judge. He established TVNZ’s Marketing Awards and is currently on a judging panel of the New Zealander of the Year Awards.  

Lawrence Schaffler: Editor of Boating New Zealand magazine. If it floats, Lawrence has probably published something about it. He knows the New Zealand marine industry intimately.

Barry Thompson: Publishing Editor of Pacific Powerboat and a marine journalist for 49 years, with a deep understanding of industry dynamics.

Sara Kulins: Sara is deeply interested in improving environmental outcomes for the sea. She believes that marinas through their actions have the ability to lead by example. Until recently she lived aboard a vessel in Gulf Harbour. Sara is working towards a Masters in Marine Biology.

The NZMOA Awards were sponsored by Total Marine Services, Dixon Manufacturing, Heron Group Limited, Crombie Lockwood, and Bellingham Marine.

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