Extra Nelson Jobs bonus for Nelson Real Estate – UPDATED

August 17, 2010

Local employment prospects received a shot in the arm with the recent opening of Air Nelson’s (Air New Zealand link partner) $14m new hangar. The fact that it is now there (in a pretty unmistakeably way) and that there existed plenty of technical expertise already here, aided Air Nelson in landing the contract to maintain Mt Cook Airlines 11 strong fleet of ATR72 aircraft.


Championing for the ATR72 work last year, Grant Kerr, General Manager Air Nelson was reported back in Dec 2009 (Flightpath Issue #25 December 2009) as saying;

That work would include maintenance on a total of 52 (Ed – combined numbers of different airframes) aircraft, and would expand options for Nelson travellers by incorporating the ATR into scheduled passenger services…… expansion into the maintenance of the ATR fleet could add about another $10 million annually to the local economy.

That’s good news for local Nelson Real Estate, because the addition of 30 high paying technology jobs will more than likely mean new candidates, many fresh to town, who will want to buy a house in Nelson.

Don’t get me wrong on the real estate front here, it just might not quite dawn on them to begin with.

“It was just work in Nelson, after all.”

However after living here for 6 months or a year, even more so if there are school age children involved, then, like many before them, they will definitely want to get out of renting and look to purchasing a Nelson property.

And why wouldn’t they?

Nelson Bays capital appreciation is right up there with the best in the country, that’s why.

Even if they did move on in 5 or 10 years it would make sense to have a property that could be rented out, while still having a healthy asset growing….a nest egg for the future.

Major Work comes to Port Nelson

Visitors to Port Nelson over the last 6 months would have seen a couple of large unusual arrivals, the first being the InterIslander ferry, “Arahua” and just lately (still here in fact) the large purse-seiner “Cape Ferrat.”  The main reason they are here?

Don’t forget we are the largest fishing port in Australasia, and that usually means lots of boats that require maintenance.

What should be called the Nelson Marine / Maritime Engineering Hub that has developed at the Port is why. The co-operation / project management / synergy of so many different maritime/marine services/suppliers and tradesmen located in the same geographical area aids tremendously in accomplishing any major marine work swiftly and efficiently.

Its these type of reasons that made it logical & practical to award the tender for the Arahua’s major works to Port Nelson, and same again, with a main engine replacement planned, along with associated work including a slipway session to the 82m long tuna fisher Cape Ferrat, which arrived at Port Nelson over a month ago, after a 15 day sea tow.

Same formula applies here too – more work – more specialist jobs for Nelson – more workers needing housing.

NAC – no not that NAC

On a similar vein, the Nelson Aviation Cluster (NAC) is there to serve all matter of things aviation / aircraft wise.

Nelson Aviation Cluster

Nelson Aviation Cluster

Commenting on its creation in 2009, Nelson Airport Chief Executive Kaye McNabb said

The potential client base is vast. Aircraft owners will hop from Australia to get the service they want. Nelson Airport already has restricted Point of First Arrival certification allowing border clearance for overseas aircraft to fly direct to Nelson for servicing.

Safe to say big jets aren’t something that I think we can do, the runways not long enough to start with, but most everything else, in the words of a certain builder called Bob, “we can do it.”

Nelsons Airport (which was granted that restricted International Airport status in 2006) is the nations 4th busiest, with an aircraft movement on average, of every 4 ½ minutes during scheduled operational hours. Approximately 1.2 million people use the Nelson Airport terminal every year, and surprisingly out of that, nearly 50 percent of travellers through the airport are business people.

Many business folk commute to Wellington or Auckland for the work week, and then for rest, relaxation and family life. returning to NZ’s sunshine capital for the weekend.

Rob Burdekin talking with Nelson Mayor Kerry Marshall and other dignitaries

Rob Burdekin, far right, talking with Nelson Mayor Kerry Marshall and other dignitaries

Rob Burdekin,  Air Nelson Technical Manager just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let Wellington know;

“….. Government’s focus for aviation was too centred on places such as the Waikato. To be honest, if you look at the money that’s involved, you’d find this region’s bigger. We’d like to see some of that focus and support.”

You tell ’em Rob.


The Nelson Mail report on Monday (Page 4) that PM John Key told them;

“……. the new hangar was important to the region as it would develop a lot of jobs and would help tourism.”

‘‘It certainly makes the airport stronger,’’ Mr Key said.

‘‘Having invested so much in engineering means that you’re going to see support for local air services, but primarily this is all about engineering jobs. The plan is to be able to service all of the turboprop planes here and free up Christchurch totally for jets. That’s good”

Maybe those words from the Air Nelson Technical Manager didn’t fall on deaf ears?

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2 thoughts on “Extra Nelson Jobs bonus for Nelson Real Estate – UPDATED

  1. avatarAlistair Helm


    Great news for Nelson. I was surprised to learn that Nelson is the 4th busiest airport. A fact which I could not at first believe, but on reflection (based on a fair amount of experience of regional airports) I would concede it is busy.

    It is a great airport in a stunning location.

    As to the ATR’s – I thought they were actually being retired as there was more of a shift to Q300’s which are far nicer planes, the ATR is a good workhorse but a bit cramped!!

    1. avatarDavid Leggott Post author

      Thought best to go to the top.
      Rob Burdekin, Technical Manager @ Air Nelson offers up the following;

      “Air New Zealand have 3 subsidiary companies who operate under the Air New Zealand Link banner. they are Air Nelson (23 x Q300), Eagle Airways (18 x B1900) and Mt Cook Airline (11 x ATR72). We each share different parts of the regional market depending upon demand. The ATR is 68 seats, Q300 – 50 seats and B1900 is 19 seats. We each compliment each other and often 2 aircraft types are operated on the same route to provide both frequency and capacity.
      There is no plan currently to replace the ATR, it will be around for a few more years yet.”

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