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Making the most of our Marina: Nelson City Council

A report that will form the basis of future plans for Nelson’s Marina was approved for release by elected members at a full Council meeting held on Thursday, 23 September.

Produced by Wardale Marine Consulting, the report is the first phase of the work that will result in the creation of a masterplan for Nelson Marina.

The report looks at the current supply of maritime resources at Nelson Marina and compares it to the demand for maritime resources in Nelson and surrounding regions as well as the micro and macro trends in the New Zealand marine industry.

Crucially, it also looks into how changing boat ownership trends will affect how Nelson City Council delivers marina services and form the basis of future decision making.

The Masterplan is due to be released for public feedback at the end of this year, when the public will have an opportunity to share their views on what Nelson Marina might offer the community and its users in the coming years.

Timeline for Marina Masterplan
November 2021 – Draft Plan completed
December 2021 – Feedback opens on Masterplan
Q1 2022 – Masterplan finalised and adopted

The Masterplan will cover the entire marina precinct and all potential activities, including enhanced links to the city centre and the new Cawthron Science Technology Precinct via a promenade and cycle way.

It will also look at whether new hospitality business could make the Marina a place for all Nelsonians and tourists to enjoy, and the improvement of services for non-motorised water activities such as sea scouts, rowing, kayaking and waka ama as well as all motorised and sailboat users from trailer boats through to the luxury launch and superyacht markets.

Enhancing services is not the only thing covered by the plan, reconfiguring the Marina to accommodate larger vessels to match the needs of our current and future customers is another key factor.

Chair of the Strategic Development and Property subcommittee, Gaile Noonan, says Nelson has the potential to become a hub for refits and repairs as well as boat manufacturing.

“We already have a great skill set based in Nelson, thanks to our fishing industry. Development by Port Nelson of the Nelson Slipway in conjunction with the Nelson Marina hardstand will allow Nelson to cater to a wide range of customers. The Masterplan will look at how Nelson Marina’s hardstand facilities can be enhanced to achieve this goal in an environmentally sustainable and efficient way.

“This is an important first step in plotting the future of Nelson Marina as a major strategic asset for Nelson. I am encouraged by the thoroughness of this background research and look forward to seeing the end results.”

Marina Manager Nigel Skeggs, who will oversee the creation of the Masterplan, says the Marina can be an asset for Nelson to take pride in.

“I want to help create a precinct that enhances Nelson’s lifestyle, increases economic activity, creates jobs and does so while protecting the natural environment that we live in.”

The findings of the report were welcomed by the Nelson Marina Advisory Group (NMAG), who have written a letter of support confirming their involvement in its production.

“This comprehensive and well-considered report provides a very useful description of the current situation in Nelson and our surrounding regions and is a solid base from which we will be able to build an inclusive and informed Masterplan for Nelson Marina,” says NMAG Chairman Roger Gibbons.

Nelson City Council will seek feedback from the Nelson community, as well as marina users, as the marina precinct continues to develop.

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