Community space with maritime focus

The Wynyard Quarter in Auckland, New Zealand has been a centre of maritime activity for decades. Amongst many things, it is renowned for Westhaven, the largest marina in the southern hemisphere, acts as a hub for the America’s Cup as host of the America’s Cup village, and is home to Orams Marine – a dedicated superyacht refit facility that has recently invested in one of the biggest boat hoists in the region.

Investment in an 820 tonne Marine Travelift boat hoist is an integral part of Orams Marine’s ongoing plans to cement its reputation as a leading superyacht refit facility.

Investment in an 820 tonne Marine Travelift boat hoist is an integral part of Orams Marine’s ongoing plans to cement its reputation as a leading superyacht refit facility.

The wider Orams facility provides a location for large vessels to be hauled out and have work completed, with a large number of individual marine trades and services on site and able to access this source of work. “The location Orams sits on has always been a hub of marine work in Auckland, with original infrastructure still visible from 1908 in places on site,” says Orams Marine managing director Craig Park.
“Orams also provides a hub for recreational boaters to quickly access the Hauraki Gulf, as well as store their boats and have amenities and services within one spot, including a chandlery and a number of marine trades,” Park continues. “In a city defined by its proximity to the water, Orams Marine’s position ensures Aucklanders are able to maintain their connection to the sea and reputation as a city with a thriving high-quality marine industry.”
Dedicated to superyachts
Panuku Development Auckland, the council-controlled organisation that manages and sells property and delivers urban regeneration in the city, has partnered with Orams to support New Zealand’s leading role in the competitive international marine industry.
A newly completed section of promenade boardwalk at Westhaven Marina is just one example of the many projects planned to revitalise the Wynyard Quarter.

A newly completed section of promenade boardwalk at Westhaven Marina is just one example of the many projects planned to revitalise the Wynyard Quarter.

The marine centre, at the corner of Beaumont and Jellicoe streets, known as Site 18 and adjacent to Orams Marine Village, features the marine haul out and refit facility, commercial buildings (due to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022) and a residential tower. It will target marine vessels up to 800 tonnes. The project creates 500 jobs and will generate significant income for marine and tourism industries.
Covering an area of 3.2ha (7.9 acres) at the heart of Auckland’s marine precinct in a prime waterfront location, it is just a short walk from the 36th America’s Cup village and Auckland’s Central Business District (CBD). The new venture benefits from the established reputation Orams has as a favourite with refitting crew due to its high-quality work, excellent nearby amenities, attractive and secure crew housing, and easy access to Auckland Harbour and Hauraki Gulf islands.
Key to the new centre is an 820 tonne Marine Travelift, which lifted its first vessel on 13th January. “There are no travel lifts with a comparable capacity, within a refit facility dedicated to superyachts, in the region,” Park confirms. “The addition of the 820 tonne Marine Travelift has been critical in ensuring large yachts cruising the South Pacific are able to haul out in a place where they can also access excellent quality workmanship and be in the heart of a vibrant city.”
The 820 tonne machine was installed as part of the wide-ranging expansion, which included creating the extra hardstand and also investing in an 85 tonne Marine Travelift. “Our development has been years in the making, so in addition to the new features already completed we have more on the way,” Park reveals.
Orams is equally well known for its service offering to smaller leisure boats and operates a busy full-service drystack.

Orams is equally well known for its service offering to smaller leisure boats and operates a busy full-service drystack.

“These include three new large [90m/294ft] marina fingers for work alongside, and a new and expanded marine village [as outlined above] which will house twice the number of marine businesses and services as we are currently able to accommodate. Our water treatment system is an industry-leader and is in operation now, as well as having the infrastructure to grow as more of our new large hardstand area comes online.”
Offering best-in-class refit for increasingly large vessels meets growing demand in the region. “Superyacht visits have increased year-on-year over the past decade. With increasing numbers of explorer yachts launched, as well as a new breed of superyacht owner excited to explore the world’s most beautiful cruising grounds, we’ve seen more yachts both cruising New Zealand and using it as a base to explore regions like Antarctica and the South Pacific.”
Business has even withstood recent pandemic challenges. “The last season has seen the effects of COVID. However, we’ve been lucky enough that yachts are still able to enter the country and undergo refit. This is something we were pleased to work with the relevant government ministers on, and we’ve been able to help a number of yachts enter the country to date,” Park says.
America’s Cup and beyond
The America’s Cup has long brought maritime and sporting focus to Auckland, giving waterfront planners the chance to build support infrastructure. Together with Wynyard Edge Alliance, Panuku has created a destination that will last well beyond a single sporting event and support the marine industry into the future. As well as platforms, berths and infrastructure for the syndicate bases, additional public spaces, including the soon to be opened Silo Park extension, have been added.
Orams also gets its share of the action. “We’re fortunate that the yard is booked well in advance so vessels take the times and dates available to haul out and have work completed. We’re excited to see the America’s Cup play out – though we’ll be working all through in the yard,” Park tells Marina World in early March.
Looking to the future, the development of the waterfront continues to progress. Panuku is currently reviewing the long-term strategy for development of the Wynyard Point and surrounding area, and public consultation on the plan will begin in early 2022. The Wynyard Point Draft Masterplan will propose a refresh for the Wynyard Precinct as part of the Waterfront Plan. Wynyard Point is proposed to provide a mix of residential, retail, public open space and commercial development to enable the growth of a strong, diverse, resilient and vibrant community that’s future ready.
Other key highlights include the restoration of the Percy Vos Boat Shed on the western edge of Wynyard Point. The first and last place in the country to build wooden boats, the shed and slipway are still in much the same condition as when the famous yard closed its doors in 1994. Panuku is converting the historic boatyard into a public place where visitors will have the chance to see, smell and participate in wooden boat building as well as learn more about Percy Vos.
The regeneration of the whole neighbourhood will continue over the next two decades. Once complete, Wynyard Quarter will be home to about 3,000 residents and 25,000 workers, who will be able to enjoy the parks, playgrounds, event spaces and laneways with great pedestrian, cycling and public transport links throughout.
Neighbouring Westhaven Marina, as one of Auckland’s most iconic locations, also has a part to play as a welcomed shared space both on and off the water for people from all walks of life to enjoy. The marina is currently undergoing one of the largest periods of development since it was founded in 1940 and is home to 1,800 recreational boats, four yacht clubs, many marine businesses, several hospitality establishments and occasionally Owha the leopard seal.
There are a multitude of legacy projects underway at Westhaven that will improve the space for everyone. Recently completed projects include a new section of promenade boardwalk along the water’s edge and the adjoining marine village.


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