4/17/2013

The word from NZ’s marine heartland

ETNZ

 
The New Zealand marine industry employs about 8000 people and had a turnover in 2011 of $1.71 billion of which $644 million was export sales.

In spite of the world-wide recession and the high New Zealand dollar, the industry is training about 450 young people with 214 new registrations this year.

Peter Busfield, executive director of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association, says: “The New Zealand marine industry has enormous respect internationally as innovative and efficient creators of high-tech boats and marine equipment.

“Brand New Zealand is strengthened every time Emirates Team New Zealand races offshore …. the world is reminded that we are among the very best at what we do.”

Southern Spars

At Avondale, Southern Spars has no doubts about the benefit of working with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Group managing director Richard Lott: “We have been a major beneficiary of technology transfer from the team. Southern business gains a lot from its close association both technically and in spin off “reflected” branding.

“Almost 40% of our activity over the last year has been building parts for ETNZ and Luna Rossa, whose work came to us because of ETNZ. That is effectively almost 100 direct jobs.

“Southern is managing to hold its own strongly perhaps because of the technical aspects of rig design and manufacture. We have a lot of internal development but the spin off from being involved with the absolute cutting edge of sailing rig development – the America’s Cup – gives us that final edge when it comes to pitching our product against those from other suppliers around the world.

“We know more about aerodynamics because of the Cup, we have developed our rigging product to be more sophisticated because of the Cup and we are able to enthuse and challenge many of our key employees because of the Cup.

“Some of the best years of the NZ marine industry were when the America’s Cup was bringing the epicenter of world yachting to New Zealand.

“Not only did it bring a lot of America’s Cup teams but it gave super yacht owners a reason to visit, bring their vessels down for a refit and build yachts here. I think it is possible to see those days again if ETNZ can win the Cup, which is a real possibility.

“Kiwis are not always the best at seeing the greatness of their own successes. Perhaps as an Englishman, I am in a better place to appreciate quite how far above its weight Emirates Team New Zealand and the NZ marine industry punches on a global stage.”