New Zealand: A Promising Superyacht Prospect in Covid-19

By George Bains

New Zealand, among the first countries to emerge on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, had reduced its Covid-19 alert level following a month of lockdown, paving way for superyachts to enter the country.

Australasia as a region has acted swiftly and decisively against the spread of the pandemic. Early-enforced lockdowns and rigorous testing has paid dividends for both New Zealand and Australia, saving many lives as health and safety became national priority. As New Zealand now eases restrictions, this does provide opportunity for superyachts to enter the country, notably those looking to move on from the South Pacific islands and even those leaving the Caribbean.

Applications for entry will be assessed on a case by case basis by the country’s border authorities and would have to disclose details of the health of onboard members. One benefit of reaching the region is that much of the 14-day quarantine period can be spent at sea, reducing the time needed to remain onboard when arriving into the country.  

Five weeks of a strict level 4 Covid-19 alert has been a strain on businesses in the industry, but now under level 3 there are already good signs. Auckland-based yacht builder Yachting Developments has already announced that it has re-opened, and will scale its workforce’s return in order to meet requirements for safe work. It expects to have a full team returned to the yard in the space of two weeks. A return under level 3 would still mean practicing social distancing, as well as enforcing thorough entry vetting to ensure only approved contractors are permitted on site.

Yachting Developments, with a 10,000sqm facility and a capability to take on anything from new built to refit and maintenance, represents an attractive option for vessels looking for safe berthing and even to take advantage of the situation to complete works. A similar situation is ensuing in neighbouring Australia, where applications are being made for entry to the country. Captain of 60m Ramble on Rose told that it makes sense to use the travel restrictions to undertake work. Australia boasts a multitude of world class shipyards that are already receiving enquiries from superyachts in the South Pacific. Work at superyacht yards in this region looks to be on its way back to normality in the near future.

By George Bains
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