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Gulf Harbour Marina

NZ’s top marinas and boatyards celebrated

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Gulf Harbour Marina was named the New Zealand Marina Operators Association marina of the year at the recent awards function that recognised this country's best marinas and boatyards for 2020. 

Judges said Gulf Harbour, which is on the Whangaparoa Peninsula 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,” the judging panel said.

Gulf Harbour Marina
Tony Sparks, left, and Mike Keown from Gulf Harbour Marina, with New Zealand Ocean Racing skipper Bianca Cook.

Westhaven Marina was also highly commended by judges for operating an 1800-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, who 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 - Des Brennan, Lawrence Schaffler, Barry Thompson and Sara Kulins - joined a team of industry experts to judge the programme.

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