On 5 August, under the banner of promoting South Pacific Superyachting – a Fiji/NZ Open Day was staged at Port Denarau Marina and Denarau Yacht Club
26 New Zealand companies met with Fijian industry representatives, plus superyacht captains and owners of international cruising yachts. Presentations highlighted the diverse range of refit services and maintenance capabilities in New Zealand, together with destinations and marinas. Vessel owners and local marine representatives engaged one-on-one, discussing options and facilities including marine products, support equipment and vessel agency services.
Whangarei Marine Promotions Group representative, Brian Caulton, said it’s crucial to have a good relationship with Fiji to direct some of the numerous cruising vessels Fiji receives each year on toward New Zealand. According to him, about 700 yachts visited Fiji last year, and 500 reached New Zealand.
“Working as a cohesive unit to move yachts through the South Pacific is a step that will produce real benefit for superyacht marine and tourism industries within the region,” said Nigel Skeggs, of Port Denarau Marina.
“And that means tangible benefit for the region’s economies and a rapidly developing, adventurous new cruising ground for the global fleet to discover.”
Captain Wishart of 44m superyacht S/Y Encore felt the initiative would allow captains and owners to plan well ahead for a New Zealand visit. “It’s great to see so many New Zealand companies together in the same location; everyone I need to see is here.’”
The event promotes collaboration between businesses in Fiji and in New Zealand, adds Integrated Marine Group’s Munesh Sharma. “New Zealand has a lot of good quality suppliers for yachts and that’s where we’re helping Fiji grow in terms of business and service supply.”
In conjunction with the Island Cruising Association, there were also a range of seminars covering passage planning between Fiji and New Zealand, destinations in New Zealand, weather patterns, Customs clearance and biosecurity requirements.
A welcoming function held on Thursday evening, saw NZ High Commissioner, Mark Ramsden speak to the attendees.
“New Zealand is internationally-recognised as a major marine industry service hub in the South Pacific,” said Ramsden, who congratulated Busfield for putting together the event.
“It’s great to see New Zealand working alongside Fiji to promote the South Pacific as a cruising and charter destination. New Zealand and Fiji are similar in that both countries heavily rely on tourism to create economic growth.”
He said New Zealand Government is fully behind the initiative of NZMarine.
“It was a successful event and a pleasure for our companies to work with the Fijian marine industry, as well as assisting owners with the information they need to maximise their experience in the South Pacific region,” said Busfield.
“We recognise that small boat sailing is a market a little untapped in Fiji,” said Tourism Fiji chief executive, Matthew Stoeckel.
“We have fantastic cruising grounds and know working with other ports and marinas around the world, and NZ being close, is a great sign. We can share information on what the cruising facilities we offer for those boats cruising here in Fiji,” added Stoeckel.
NZ companies attending included Marinelogix, Akzonobel, Auckland On Water Boat Show, Babcock NZ, Destination NZ, Doyle Sails New Zealand, Port Opua Marina, Harken Fosters, Hutchwilco NZ Ltd, Integrated Marine Group, IMED, Kiwi Yachting, Lancer Industries, Lusty & Blundell, Penske Power Systems, Marina Consultants, NZ Boatbuilding Apprenticeships, Oceania Marine, Oceanmax, Orams Marine, Robinson Interiors, Whangarei Marine Promotions Group, Power Equipment NZ, GMS/ General Marine Services, Silo and Viaduct Marina, North Sails, Tenob Wholesale Marine, WhisperPower Pacific, Hobsonville Marina and Volpower.