Aquaculture Infrastructure frequently asked questions

This project has now been incorporated into the Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project.

"Wherever the location, we are confident with some creative and forward thinking and a strong operational management plan, we can achieve harmony between industry, recreational boaties and residents..."


To read the most up-to-date information go to our Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project page here.

Key facts

Demand and production

  • Aquaculture activities utilise 0.02% of New Zealand’s coastline
  • Farming takes place within approximately 19,249ha of allocated water space
  • The industry is currently estimated to be worth in excess of $380 million per annum, with a target goal of reaching $1 billion in sales by 2025
  • The Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicts that global consumer demand for seafood will almost double from 45 to 85 million tonnes by 2015
  • It is estimated that aquaculture will increase from 42% to 58% of global seafood production by 2020
  • Coromandel produces 24% of New Zealand's Greenshell Mussels
  • Coromandel produces 20% of New Zealand's Pacific Oysters

The economics - present day

  • Aquaculture contributed an estimated $31.4 million of value added, or regional
    gross domestic product (GDP), to the Waikato region in 2010/11
  • In terms of employment, there are an estimated 432.3 full time equivalents (FTEs) resulting
    from aquaculture and its supplying industries located in the Waikato region
  • The Coromandel aquaculture industry contributes $77.4 million in GDP to the national economy – and generates a total of 1,193 full‐time equivalent jobs

The economics - by 2025

  • The industry will generate more than $60M in GDP to the regional economy (currently $31M)
  • Create an extra 354 regional jobs
  • New GDP - a finfish industry would generate over $34M per annum in GDP ($56 in turnover) within the region. Nationally, a Coromandel finfish industry would bring in an extra $45 million in GDP, and create 473 new jobs.

Frequently asked questions

Who is paying for the project? The aquaculture industry have indicated a willingness to pay for the project, with Council using an industry levie to recoup the costs. If a location is selected by the Council, these sort of details will be confirmed in the business plan (the next step for Council to approve). We will pay for any improvements to recreational facilities and roading.


If a wharf is built, who will own and run it? Probably the Council, like we do now for the other wharfs on the Peninsula. The aquaculture industry have indicated they want to focus on marine farming not operating infrastructure like wharfs. These details will be confirmed at the business plan stage.


Why is the Council involved with this project?

  1. We have a strong desire to help facilitate job growth and GDP growth in our local economy. The growth in the aquaculture industry is a major opportunity for the district.
  2. Aquaculture has been identified as an industry of national significance and we must do what we can to work with the NZ Government, Waikato Regional Council and industry to support the national direction where practicable.
  3. We understand the district plan, resource consent processes and the wider community issues with projects like this, which are controversial by nature. We want to be involved to facilitate a win-win outcome for the greater-good of our community.


How much will the resource consent cost? It depends if there are any appeals to the Environment Court. Our objective, if Council select a location in April, is to work extremely hard at the business plan level with communities and stakeholders to create a solution which will be acceptable to all parties, to avoid costs and lawyers. 

Whatever the location, we are confident with some creative and forward thinking and a strong operational management plan, we can achieve harmony between industry, recreational boaties and residents. 

We are getting the costs estimated now and will report back soon on the budget. 

Why does the aquaculture industry need a new wharf? Spend some time down at Sugarloaf and you'll answer your own question! On one hand, the existing wharf is close to capacity and with the accurate forecasts of industry growth, the status quo is just not feasible option. 

The Government's recent law changes have also created more space in the Firth for marine farming, so it's just a matter of time before things become unmanageable at the current wharf. 

Haven't answered your question? Send us your question and we'll do our best to answer them.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our 'aquaculture' eNewsletter to stay in touch with this project as it progresses through the various stages.