Published: Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Under the banner of promoting South Pacific Superyachting, Fiji/NZ Open Day was staged at Port Denarau Marina and Denarau Yacht Club in Fiji Aug 5, gathering 26 New Zealand companies with Fijian industry representatives as well as superyacht Captains and Owners of international cruising yachts.

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(Photos: Fiji/NZ Open Day)

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 says 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.

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(Port Denarau Marina Managing Director Nigel Skeggs, NZMarine Executive Director Peter Busfield and NZ High Commissioner Mark Ramsden)

“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,” says Port Denarau Marina Managing Director and CEO Nigel Skeggs.  “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,” he says.  

“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,” says Integrated Marine Group Finance Manager Munesh Sharma.

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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 Aug 4 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,” says 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.”

“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,” says Busfield.

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“We recognise that small boat sailing is a market a little untapped in Fiji,” says 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.”

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.