Opua firm Total Marine Services has beaten overseas rivals to win a $10 million contract to expand Opua Marina.

Tim Yeates, a director of parent company Total Marine Group, said that meant all income generated by the project would stay in the Bay of Islands instead of going offshore.

"We're just very pleased that we were successful in tendering. The local economy will benefit in terms of employment and keeping revenue here."

Although the company was headquartered in Auckland the majority of its staff, 33, were based in Opua. Nine more had been hired, all from Opua and Kawakawa, to work on the project as barge crew and engineers.


The company had taken possession of the site and was mobilising materials and equipment. Construction was due to start on October 1.

Mr Yeates said all components for the marina would be manufactured in Opua.

The expansion includes 149 extra berths, an 8000sq m reclamation and three two-storey buildings for accommodation, retail and marine services.

Council-owned company Far North Holdings split the contract into two parts - one for the marina itself, and one for the land-based civil engineering works - and put it out for international tender.

FNH chief executive Andy Nock said seven bids were received from New Zealand, Australia and the US.

Three were for the marina component and three for the shore-based work. Only TMS put in a bid for both. The winning bid was chosen in July and announced last week.

Mr Nock said each bid was reviewed against four main criteria: Quality, product specification, delivery and service.

The new marina had to be a cut above the average to attract new business in an extremely competitive market.

The bid put in by TMS won on both price and quality, Mr Nock said. Having one firm carry out both the marine and civil engineering work also brought management and operational advantages.

"We didn't even have to consider the local element."

TMS had also demonstrated a good understanding of Far North Holdings' vision for the marina and wove that into its submissions, Mr Nock said.

One of the problems with the existing marina is that all berths were pre-sold.

That means there is often no space for visiting boats, which then head to Whangarei or Auckland, depriving the Bay of income and business chances.

The expansion is due to be completed in February 2017.