Thu, Jan 11, 2024 8:00 AM

Sponsored: Waikawa North West Marina open for business


Tessa Jaine

More than ten years in the planning, the state-of-the-art $30 million Waikawa North West Marina is officially open. “We are really pleased to be able to offer berths to boaties who have been on the waiting list for years – just in time for the boating season, and for what is shaping up to be another beautiful summer in the Sounds,” says Port Marlborough's CEO, Rhys Welbourn.

Construction of the marina project commenced just days prior to the start of the global pandemic in March 2020. But despite lockdowns and supply chain challenges, the Board of Directors pressed ahead, recognising the economic value to Marlborough. Predictions estimate an annual $2 million boost to the local economy, with ancillary businesses like mechanical repairs, hospitality and maintenance services eagerly anticipating the surge in demand.

The first vessels arrived December 2022 when stage one opened. Now, one year later, the landmark project is complete, and Port Marlborough are looking forward to welcoming berth holders in time for the summer. Marlborough Sounds Marinas’ customer service manager, Louise Collier is coordinating the allocation of berths. The new extension provides an additional 251 berths in concrete floating construction, ranging in size from 10 to 30 metres, including some which have been specifically designed for catamaran/multi-hull vessels, bringing the total berth number in Waikawa to 850. The marina caters to the growing demand for “walk-on, walk-off” recreational boating facilities in the Marlborough Sounds.

Manawhenua iwi of Waikawa, Te Ātiawa o te Waka a Maui, worked with the port’s infrastructure team and consulted whānau to bring various contextual cultural elements into the finishing touches of the marina’s design. These elements encompass a toka manatu stone, kaimoana designs on the breakwater walkway, and a narrative informational panel that vividly depicts the rich history and traditions of Te Ātiawa, offering visitors and residents alike a deeper understanding of the heritage of Waikawa.

The integration of manawhenua elements at the northern end of the marina and along the breakwater walkway stands as a testament to the historical and cultural significance of Waikawa Bay.

“It’s an exciting moment for the community,” says Rhys, “we are so pleased to deliver this important asset to our boating community, and we would like to extend our gratitude to the residents of Waikawa, the marina’s neighbouring residents, existing berth holders, marinas team, engineers, contractors, and all who contributed to this project.”

For berth inquiries, contact the marinas team at

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