Boaties band together to push for new marina


Local boaties are pressuring for a marina at Frankton as the latest council-approved plan for the area appears to be floundering. 

Boatie Gary Reynolds says he’s got about 50 people interested in launching a Frankton Marina Action Group. 

Reynolds is inviting people to a public meeting at the Frankton Marina scout den at 7pm next Tuesday. 

“As a major international destination, we look like a joke without having a marina,” he says. “The longer this drags on and on, this is just ridiculous.” 

In the latest chapter of a long-running saga, Queenstown Lakes District Council signed a conditional agreement with Christchurch contractor Buzz March’s Queenstown Marina Developments last October. 

QMD was to build a $20 million, 240-berth marina at Frankton. The company had until the end of June to meet certain conditions, including proving it had the financial means to build the facility. 

QLDC capital works boss Ken Gousmett confirms those conditions weren’t met by deadline. 

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, given the economic climate,” he says. 

Gousmett says he’ll put a recommendation for councillors to consider at their next council meeting, on August 16. 

“The [boaties’] meeting would be better timed after that,” he says. 

Reynolds believes the biggest problem is QMD’s plan for an offshore marina. 

“Offshore marinas don’t work, they blow to bits. We need somewhere where there’s no wind – having lived there for a number of years, I know how bad the wind is.” 

Reynolds argues a better bet is an inshore marina option developed by local mariner Alan Kirker to replace the current poky boat harbour. 

Kirker has registered a company, Lakes Marina Projects, with American brothers Nasser and Iraj Barabi – Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who own a property on Queenstown Hill. 

Kirker says stage one, comprising 52 berths, could be built for $2.5 million-$3m.