New survey reveals substantial growth in New Zealand boating market

Newly-released statistics from the NZ Marine Industry Association show boating is New Zealand’s largest recreational activity with 1.9 million, or 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population, participating in boating each year.

New Zealand continues to grow as a nation of boaters, with 40 per cent of the population boating annually and the nation’s fleet growing by an estimated 44,810 vessels per year.

Statistics released by NZ Marine have revealed a $2.9 billion dollar industry with more than 1,540,000 boats in New Zealand

“The marine industry is New Zealand’s largest non-agricultural, manufacturing industry,” says NZ Marine CEO, Peter Busfield. “It’s an industry built on high-tech design, industry-led training and passionate people.”

The survey results show substantial growth for the New Zealand marine industry – taking the total turnover from $2.3 billion in 2019 to $2.9 billion in the 12-month period to 31 March 2022.

“We’ve seen strong growth of 28 per cent in the domestic market, as well as export growth of 26 per cent. Given the challenges with material supply, international freight, and distribution disruptions worldwide, this growth is a credit to the more than 500 member companies of the NZ Marine Industry Association. As an industry, we can be proud of the substantial contribution we make to the New Zealand economy.”

While further industry growth is restricted in part by staff shortages, the industry-owned Marine and Specialised Technologies Training Academy (MAST) is able to mitigate the effects of this in part. The marine industry has 270 businesses employing and training 760 apprentices nationwide via MAST, however Busfield says more apprentices are urgently needed.

After a two-year hiatus, NZ Marine is looking forward to supporting its members through staging the Auckland Boat Show, from 23-26 March, the largest on-water event planned for Auckland in 2023.

“Our high-tech industry is known globally for its manufacturing and design, and we also market New Zealand as the main South Pacific charter and refit base to international superyachts and cruising yachts as part of our export strategy. This double-pronged approach has us on track to achieve our export revenue goal of $1.4 billion by 2030.”

The NZ Marine Industry Association is formed of 500 member companies.

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