History of OCEANIA MARINE Shipyards

Located at Port Whangarei, New Zealand

Boat-building started in the Whangarei Harbour area in the 1800’s with wooden workboats and pleasure craft. In the 1950’s the capacity to construct larger workboats in steel was developed. Demand was driven by the vigorous development of an export port for primary produce and from other centres from throughout New Zealand. The Port Whangarei area consists mainly of land reclaimed by the Northland Harbour Board, a government organisation, in the 1950’s and 60’s. The Shipyards currently operated by Oceania Marine are located on part of this land and have histories going back over 50 years under various owners. On this page we intend to build up a record of that history which may be of general interest but, perhaps more importantly, give prospective clients an idea of the marine construction refit and repair heritage that the shipyard has.

Superyacht ‘Spirit’ – Launched 2005 by New Zealand Yachts



Current                                   North Shipyard

Oceania Marine took over the North Shipyard in 2009. It purchased the freehold in 2013. Offers a marine refit, repair and construction service to a wide range of vessels mostly from 18 metres to 60 metres LOA including superyachts. North Shipyard has a 800T traditional slipway with extensive hardstand and refit/paint sheds.

Current                                   South Shipyard

Oceania Marine took out a long lease on South Shipyard 2012 to take advantage of the extensive marine fabrication and refit facilities together with the site’s direct access to deeper water. This has enable Oceania Marine to expand its capacity to service a wider range of vessels. It is also the location of the Port Whangaeri Marine Centre which offers a travel lift haulout, hardstand, storage and refits to vessels displacing less than 100 tonnes (560 tonnes late 2018).

Current                                  Oceania Interiors

Oceania Marine acquired an internationally acclaimed manufacturer of yacht interiors in 2015 and have re-branded it as Oceania Interiors (see press release). It’s modern state of the art manufacturing facility is conveniently located close to North Shipyard in the Port Whangarei. CLICK HERE to go to it’s dedicated website

2001 to 2009                       New Zealand Yachts Limited (NZY)

NZY acquired the North Shipyard from Northland Port Corporation in 2001 and invested heavily in new facilities for the manufacture of composite superyachts. From 2004 NZY diversified into refit and repair. The company built the 34M Superyacht ‘Spirit’, launched in 2005, and ceased trading at North Shipyard in 2009.

Superyacht ‘T6’ – Launched 2007 by Flyghtship Construction Limited

1993 to 2002                         Northport Engineering

Northport Engineering was a subsidiary of the Northland Port Corporation and operated the North Shipyard for a decade during which time it provided construction and refit services to a wide range of clients, mainly commercial but also including yachts and superyachts. One of the new build superyacht projects commenced at this time was the Flyghtship motor yacht named ‘T6’.

1962 to 1993                         Whangarei Engineering and Construction Co Limited (WECO)

This company was incorporated in 1962 formalising a marine business which had been in operation well before this time. WECO built up marine construction refit and repair at the North Shipyard until in the 1980’s it was described as New Zealand’s largest shipbuilder. It maintained this status until it ceased trading in 1993 after which time the business it created was successfully carried on by Northport Engineering. WECO serviced mainly commercial clients but it also built some yachts. For details of the range of vessels constructed or refitted by WECO Click Here

16th December 1978        Launching of the “Bounty’ Replica

This is a piece of interesting shipyard history. We recently came across the commemorative programme for the launching of this famous vessel. Although the copy is not the best quality we post it here for general viewing. Click Here to view:-


Tug ‘Manowai’ – Launched 1973 by WECO (Voith Schneider propulsion)


WECO Purse Seiner – Launched 1980’s




Ship-building the old way - WECO 3D half model for lofting - Tug Canterbury 1971

Ship-building the old way – WECO 3D half model for lofting – Tug Canterbury 1971