Developers stay the course


A $10 million marina at Frankton is a step closer.

The Overseas Investment Office has approved an application by United States multi-millionaire brothers Nasser and Iraj Barabi, who each own 40 per cent of Lakes Marina Projects Ltd.

Queenstowner Alan Kirker, who owns the remaining 20 per cent, says construction of the off-shore floating marina at Sugar Lane can’t yet begin.

The consortium still needs a lakebed lease from Land Information New Zealand.

“We can’t award contracts or do anything until that comes through,” Kirker says.

The government office’s April 6 approval for the Iranian-born Californians covers three-quarters of a hectare at Sugar Lane, off Frankton Road, and almost seven hectares of the lake itself.

The decision, on April 6, states the investment meets its criteria because of the “benefit to New Zealand”.

That’s broken down into jobs, enhanced domestic services, walking access, consequential benefits, and oversight and participation by New Zealanders.

Stage one features a breakwater, 77 marina berths, 17 floating sheds, four buildings on land, a fuelling station and a carpark for up to 136 vehicles.

The second stage will be built according to demand.

The original design proposal to Queenstown’s council in December 2012 envisages “a world-class marina in Queenstown that will enhance the region’s economic performance and allow for higher quality and safer lake access for both visitors and residents alike.”

Lakes Marina Projects has all the necessary consents from Queenstown’s council and Otago Regional Council.

But until the LINZ lease comes through, it’s on hold, Kirker says.

“I just keep telling myself it’s taken six years to get this far, just wait, don’t get grumpy, don’t upset anyone, just wait,” Kirker says.