by Jeni Bone
The New Zealand Marine Industry Association says the Government needs to assist yacht builders by lowering interest rates, to keep the industry afloat.
Fitzroy Yachts New Plymouth NZ
Highly acclaimed superyacht builder, Fitzroy Yachts recently let go 120 employees, stating slower than expected business.
Peter Busfield, executive director at NZ Marine says New Zealand’s high exchange rate is disadvantaging exporters.
'The price to buy from New Zealand has gone up 30 or 40 percent, which makes sales harder. We have a concern that if the New Zealand dollar continues to appreciate it makes export sales more challenging. 0ur interest rates have an influence in this regardsand the government can control these to a certain extent.'
Busfield points out that New Zealand's involvement in the 2013 America's Cup and high profile at international yacht shows demonstrates New Zealand ingenuity and the marine industry’s prowess in designing and manufacturing boats.
'It's just unfortunate for Fitzroy Yachts, from a timing point of view, that they need an order right here and now.'
Busfield says the New Zealand government appreciates the economic value the local marine industry provides the country and through its various agencies supports export growth, boat building, services training and more recently, tourism of high net worth people visiting NZ on their own vessel.
Salperton IV from Fitzroy Yachts
'In December 2013 the government extended the time a visiting yacht can stay in New Zealand without paying any import duty or our 15% GST from 12 months to 24 months. This means that NZ will become a more attractive place for people to visit and leave their boat here for a while, including Australians.
'We expect a growth in refit and boat maintenance from this new policy, not to mention the gain in tourism by high net worth visitors enjoying our land-based attractions such as wineries, golf courses and great outdoor adventures.'
More at www.nzmarine.com