Marine Project to Launch Local Aquaculture Industry

Kōpū is poised to take advantage of a growing marine servicing industry, situated between three major cities, and on the doorstep of a major recreational fishing playground and regionally and nationally significant aquaculture industry.

Shovels were put to use on the waterfront for a sod-turning ceremony to mark the beginning of physical work on the Kōpū Marine and Business Precinct.

Mayor Sandra Goudie was joined by representatives from Kānoa, the government’s Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, the Member of Parliament for Coromandel Honorable Scott Simpson, Hauraki District Council Mayor Toby Adams, our Council’s Chief Executive Aileen Lawrie, iwi, Te Waka our Regional Economic Development Agency, Waikato Regional Council, members of the Kōpū business community and Council staff.

The large turnout represented the significance of the project, not just for the Thames area, but the wider region.

The project will not only support employment in the Thames township (jobs created through the precinct’s construction, with the potential for up to 100 positions longer term, once the build is complete), but it will also provide alternative marine-servicing options for vessels from the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei.

It is estimated that the Kōpū Marine Precinct could bring economic returns of up to $58.5 million over the next 30 years.

The $15.3 million cost of the project is being met through an $8.2 million grant from the government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, $4.05 million from the Three Waters Reform ‘better off’ funding from the Department of Internal Affairs, $1.4 million from the Thames Community Board’s Thames Urban General-Purpose Reserve. The Thames Community Board is also  underwriting $1.13 million, while staff seek funding applications through MBIE and Waikato Regional Council.

Land-based works will begin in early October with work on the commercial wharf, beginning in March 2023. The new wharf, commercial boat slipway and recreational boat ramp should be completed in November 2023.