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FAQs about Okara marina

What entity is funding the construction? 

The Whangarei Harbour Marina Management Trust (WHMMT) was established in the early 1990s to govern the now internationally renowned Town Basin Marina and Kissing Point Marina – attracting over 100 offshore visiting yachts each summer.


The Trust Board has six trustees, four elected Whangarei Cruising Club Members and two Whangarei District Councillors. Chair Noel Douglas, Brian Attwood, Richard Bland, Ron Miller, Dep Mayor Phil Holse – MNZM, Cr Deb Harding.

The Whangarei Cruising Club (established over 100 years ago) Trustees represent boaters who wish to have reasonably priced quality berths while the City councillor Trustees ensure that the infrastructure provides an ongoing, attractive destination under stable management to further the Council's objectives in this area.

The Trust is registered as a Non-Profit Charitable Trust with any surplus used to improve the structures and facilities and for grants to local water sports organizations such as youth sailing, waka ama, surf lifesaving, rowing, and more.

Though it is not a Council build, support has been given as an interest-bearing $5,000,000 construction start loan from Whangarei District Council. An independent in-depth feasibility study by NZ's leading Marina construction consultant Wardale Marine Industry Consulting was required to attain this.

Marina management staff have been in the role since 2005. Manager Brian Caulton is chair of the Whangarei Marine Services Industry Groupand Northland’s regional Chair of the NZ Marine Industry Association. Assistant Manager Sharron Beck is a Certified Marina Operator, board secretary of The South Pacific Sailing Networkand was last year invited to the executive board of NZ’s Marina Operators Association. Office manager Kara Gribble was a Coast Guard senior operational crew member. 

Why is the berth license for 28 years? 

The Resource consent for Okara Marina water space expires in 2054. Prior to the expiry date, the Trust will apply for another 35 years. Most likely the license holders will be offered the first right to repurchase a license at a lower than market rate, enough for upcoming refurbishment requirements. Most of the current Okara marina licenses will have changed hands many times, likely profiting the holders well, by this stage. 

How is the annual OPEX (operational expenditure) budget calculated?

Opex is to cover ongoing operational and maintenance costs.

The estimated expense levels advertised are based on our current marina costs in the Town Basin, including inflation projected in the coming 2 years. However, they probably will initially be lower with minimal maintenance in the initial years.  With a new facility, the experience of the management, the governance of the Trust, and the open books of a Charitable Trust, the expenses will be conservative.  

Can I live aboard?

Berth License Holders and temporary visitors may live aboard (as long as the marina rules are followed). The facility building is designed to make that pleasurable with toilets, showers, laundry, a large captain’s lounge for socializing, and even a pizza oven in the atrium. The current live aboard fee is $145 per month for two people or a family.

What is the distance from the marina to the harbour entrance?

The large Whangarei harbour is a tranquil playground with ample fishing, sheltered bays, fabulous walking tracks, and restaurant destinations. It is approximately 13.5nm to the entrance of the Whangarei Harbour where you can head to Cape Brett, The Bay of Islands 50nm, Great Barrier Island 42nm or Kawau Island 40nm.

Can I rent my berth to whom I choose? 

Subletting is administered through the marina office for security and insurance purposes. If you know someone who wants to use your berth just give us their contact, and that can be done. 80% of the advertised rental price will be returned to the license holder when rented. Though you may choose not to, the marina encourages subletting to maximize the use of the berths and bring business to the region. 

What is the depth? 

Depths of the marina footprint range from -1m to -3m below chart datum. This means at the lowest king tide point it would be 3.3m in the deeper berths. 

The Resource Consent does allow for up to –3.5m below chart datum in the outer berths if required.

Will my berth have power and water?

Yes, you will share a service pedestal with the neighboring berth which has a dedicated water and power outlet of 16 or 32 amps. Higher amperage and 1 - 3 phases can be discussed, depending on the position. A sewerage pump-out facility is yet to be designed.

Will I get a free car park?

Yes, one pass per berth will be allocated to the parking area. It will let you pass the barrier arm. If you temporarily require another it will depend on the demand at the time. There is also ample public parking about 50 meters away for your visitors.

Will there be security?

There will be security cameras in the car park and dock gates. The high number of live aboards is also an advantage in a marina.

Can I sell my berth licence?

Yes, you can sell after your berth licence has been issued at handover. 

You are required give the first option to purchase to the Marina Trust. If they decline the berth can be sold on the open market.

Where is the closest fuel pump?

There is a fuel pump close by, approximately 1.6nm, at the commercial wharf on the corner of Mains 1. The diesel stop has 24-hour access for vessels, use a credit card or an authorised fuel card.

Also at the exit from the harbour at Marsden Cove a fuel jetty with petrol and diesel is located next to the retail block and public boat ramp. 24 hours, EFTPOS, credit card, and BP fuel card.

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