OUR PROJECTS KOPU MARINE PRECINCT BUSINESS CASE

CLIENT: Thames Coromandel District Council
DATE: 2018-2019
STATUS: Facilitated $8.2 million in Central Government funding

The Thames Coromandel District is well known throughout New Zealand for its warm climate, beautiful beaches and bush-clad hills.

However, aspects of the Thames Coromandel District’s economy were underperforming, with declining productivity, low business growth, low GDP, low median earnings, high levels of deprivation and low levels of skilled employment.

Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) was looking to help turn these declines around by investing in a marine servicing facility at Kōpū to help drive economic growth.

Kōpū sits at the gateway to the Coromandel; centrally located between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. Kōpū has the largest area of zoned industrial land in the district and acts as a commercial hub for both the district and the Hauraki Plains. The Kōpū industrial area houses a mix of industrial, light industrial and a small component of retail businesses across a range of sectors including, marine, transport and building.

The marine sector in Kōpū has been growing strongly and has been driven by existing businesses. These businesses have reached capacity, partially through their own capability and capacity but also due to the size of the existing haul out facilities. These facilities have also been a constraining factor to any new entrants to the market.

THE OPPORTUNITY

  • Demand for marine servicing in the Coromandel is being caused by:
  • The increasing cost and decreasing availability of servicing in Auckland.
  • The need for boats to travel outside the Coromandel for servicing, which is inefficient due to the loss of operational time and staff cost.
  • A lack of in-water servicing available in the Coromandel. Non-routine, minor servicing can be undertaken at moorings in the Coromandel Harbour, but it is problematic for a number of reasons.
  • Lack of available local skills and the distance required for specialist to travel from Auckland when required.
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WHAT DID WE DO?

In 2019, Rationale completed a Detailed Business Case funded by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for the project that outlined a preferred way forward for an expanded marine servicing and business precinct at Kōpū. This was submitted to the PGF and subsequently put on ice, only to be brought back to the table as the government looked to kick start the economy as part of the response to COVID-19.

In the case of Kōpū, Rationale held a series of ‘deep dive’ workshops to understand how the existing facility was being used, what the demand was like and what opportunities might result from an upgrade. This information was invaluable to the project team throughout the development of the business case. In fact, we brought some key players from those initial sessions back to help us design and evaluate options further down the track to ensure the preferred solution was going to be usable and deliver the desired benefits for the community.

Working with economists and marine engineers, alongside TCDC, Rationale produced a business case that was directly used to secure PGF funding for the development of an expanded facility at Kōpū.

THE RESULT

In August 2020, the Kōpū Marine and Business Precinct received $8.2 million in shovel ready funding.

The investment in the Kōpū Marine Precinct will not only support employment in the Thames township, it will also provide alternative marine-servicing options for vessels from the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei.

This project will have immediate benefits for the local community by creating up to 13 jobs in the short-term. Another 19 jobs will be created through the precinct’s construction, with potential for up to 108 downstream jobs when the project is complete.

The funding will be used to finalise planning, design and construction of a new access road, upgraded boat ramp and car park, a floating pontoon and mud berth, which will allow boats to rest on the seabed to facilitate in-water servicing and dismantling.

CLIENT Thames Coromandel District Council
DATE 
2018-2019

I wouldn’t hesitate recommending or using Rationale again for their expertise in the complete start to finish delivery of the Kōpū Marine Precinct business case.  In 2018 TCDC reached out to Rational as one of the leading companies in business case development.  Rational were extremely responsive to our needs and impressed with their ability to work nimbly with key stakeholders, while understanding demands and legislative/political requirements within the local government context. Rationale’s ability to distil complex issues down to easy digestible and understandable packages is a real strength. They lead stakeholders, politicians and end users through the business model processes with confidence, cementing their position as leaders in their field. As a result of Ed and Emily’s work TCDC was able to secure $8.2M of funding through the provincial growth fund for new Marine servicing infrastructure in Thames, that will provide a long standing economic injection into our regional for years to come. Ross Ashby, Project Manager, Thames Coromandel District Council
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