New facility for Clearwater Mussels
With an eye on future growth, one of Marlborough’s leading mussel farmers – Clearwater Mussels – has secured space at Havelock for a sophisticated new facility designed to meet its ongoing service, support and manufacturing needs.
Canterbury design-and-build specialist Geoff Read Ltd is working closely with Port Marlborough New Zealand Ltd and Clearwater Mussels to develop the new base of operations, currently under construction at Havelock in an industrial area close by the wharf.
“It’s not just a shed,” explains Clearwater Mussels’ managing director John Young. “It has been designed ergonomically so we can get maximum efficiency out of it.”
Activities poised to be accommodated in the new Port Marlborough facility, which will be leased to Clearwater Mussels, include the manufacture of sock cotton/socks (the long mesh tubes used in mussel farming), the reconditioning of rope for ongoing use, and recycling of old floats.
The company’s office and engineering workshop will also be based in the new building. As well, a second smaller building is being constructed for making new floats.
John first met Rob Read, who runs Geoff Read Ltd with his brother, when they were both members of the same ski club – Mt Olympus in the Craigieburn Range – and involved with a complete rebuild of the club’s lodge.
Geoff Read Ltd is a well-established Ashburtonbased business that comes to this latest project with long experience in the agricultural sector, including construction of a large number of rotary dairy sheds in Canterbury through to Golden Bay and Marlborough.
That design-build expertise is now being deployed to deliver one of the country’s best aquaculture servicing facilities at Havelock. “We’ve worked in the area in the past,” Rob says.
“This time we’ve purchased a house in Havelock to accommodate our staff and we’ve also employed some local staff. Having accommodation for our staff is fundamental.”
Following 18 months of planning and preparation, building on site got underway in early May. By mid-June, the project was proceeding smoothly with the main floor slab poured and precast panels erected. These pre-cast panels were transported up from Ashburton.
“We delayed starting this project until the road through to Kaikoura opened because carting them up the long way was not going to be economic.”
Joining Rob in managing this project is his son Lachlan, a civil engineer with recent overseas experience. “He’s been a real driving force on this.”
Together they have also been working closely with the engineering team at Port Marlborough. “It is on reclaimed land so we’ve had to design the building so it sits lightly on the site,” Rob says.
“It is one of the last big vacant lots of land here and is a big development in this industrial area of Havelock … Port Marlborough have been very good to deal with.”
In 2015, John Young and his partner Lyn Godsiff made history when they became the first marine farmers to win Lincoln University Foundation’s South Island Farmer of the Year, (sharing top honours also with Richard and Annabelle Subtil of Omarama Station).
This latest development continues to put them at the forefront of farming in New Zealand.
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