The Emirates Team New Zealand campaign for the 34th America’s Cup saw another huge step forward this week with the inaugural sailing of the world’s first AC72 catamaran yacht New Zealand. It will reinforce the export of New Zealand manufactured boats as well as equipment, as stated by NZ Marine executive director, Peter Busfield.
“We know from past experience that high profile America’s Cup campaigns help attract lucrative new contracts and create new jobs in our industry,” he says. “We estimate that over $30 million worth of New Zealand boats and equipment has already been supplied in the build up to next year’s America’s Cup regatta.
“Every time ETNZ unveils an innovative new vessel, like New Zealand, or competes well in an international regatta, they help remind the world’s boating markets just how innovative and highly skilled New Zealand boat builders are.
“We are already enjoying a substantial increase in the number of visiting yachts and superyachts from the Northern Hemisphere. While they are choosing to explore a new destination, most of them are also choosing to have either maintenance work or a major refit completed by our skilled workforce.
“In addition, America’s Cup holders, Oracle, chose the New Zealand marine industry to build their technologically very challenging fleet of AC45 catamarans, because they knew we had both the expertise and the properly trained staff to complete the job.”
Peter Busfield says the New Zealand marine industry’s unique industry-based and industry-led training system is one of the key reasons why the industry is so successful and so internationally respected.
“Other countries look with envy at our training, which is universally acknowledged as the best marine trades’ training in the world.
“The Government sensibly recognises that the marine industry is best placed to know what type of training is needed to create and maintain a world-class industry – and that the industry is in the best position to deliver that training.”
Mr Busfield points out that the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organisation is one of the country’s most successful ITOs (Industry Training Organisations). “A very high percentage of NZ Marine ITO trainees and apprentices fully complete their training and go on to become productive members of the industry,” he says.
As innovative as the industry it serves, NZ Marine ITO makes use of the latest teaching techniques, such as E-learning; uses industry-experienced field officers to constantly monitor each individual trainees’ progress and, as an integral part of NZ Marine (the NZ Marine industry association), is able to respond very quickly to the industry’s changing needs.
“Add in NZ Marine’s proven mantra of using the combined expertise of Government agencies and tertiary institutions, in addition to its own abilities, and it is no wonder that NZ Marine ITO continues to provide common sense and practical outcomes for both employers and apprentices,” he says.
“During the launching of ETNZ’s New Zealand both the Prime Minister, John Key, and Auckland Mayor Len Brown acknowledged the important part played by New Zealand’s highly skilled and superbly trained marine industry for the good of New Zealand’s economy.
Mr Busfield says the large amount of international media coverage generated by New Zealand’s launch will continue over the coming months as the giant catamaran yacht sails against Luna Rossa in extensive testing on the Hauraki Gulf.
“That exposure is the equivalent of us taking a full page colour ad in all of the world’s major boating magazines,” he says. “It provides an enormous boost to our industry, which already generates exports of over $640 million.
“As the widely respected world expert in innovation management and strategy, Professor Goran Roos, pointed out recently, manufactured exports are some of the most valuable exports a country can produce; generating, for example, around four times as much value as the dollars earned in tourism.”
The New Zealand marine industry currently generates around $1.6 billion, around 40% of which is exported. It employs 8000 people and has 450 apprentices, whose training is overseen and guided by the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organisation.
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