$10m Queenstown marina hits headwinds


A $10 million marina plan for Lake Wakatipu has dropped anchor yet again.

The Environment Court finally approved the 195-berth marina on Sugar Lane back in June.

But Californian brothers Iraj and Nasser Barabi, who are behind Lakes Marina Projects Ltd, still need approval from the Overseas Investment Office.

They hoped to begin building the Frankton Rd development early next year.

OIO approval takes an average three months and their application hasn’t yet been submitted.

It’s another hurdle for the Barabi brothers, and Queenstown co-director Alan Kirker, who’ve fought for more than five years to build a marina.

The Frankton marina plan itself has been bobbing about for more than 20 years.

Kirker says they’re philosophical about the wait.

“There’s still some paperwork to do - one more government department,” he says.

“But after five-and-a-half years, we’ve learnt to be patient.

“What’s six more months? It’s not life-threatening.”

Kirker believes all New Zealanders appreciate the OIO process and says once they get approval the project is ready to go.

“We want to start as soon as possible of course - within the next six months, although winter is the ideal time to build due to lake and wind conditions.”

Eighty-five berths will be built in stage one, plus a 320m breakwater, a 150m retaining wall, a jetty, carpark and 17 buildings. That should take between nine and 12 months.