Huge boat deal hinted

A major shipbuilding contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars could be heading to Whangarei.

The Whangarei District Council will meet behind closed doors tomorrow to discuss an offer from Culham Engineering to buy a block of ratepayer-owned land at the end of Fraser St, in the port area, known as the Kaituna Block. The company is believed to want the block, which is near its own property, so it can land a lucrative contract to build ships, possibly freighters or tankers.

The 7.1-hectare block juts into Whangarei Harbour and is bordered on two sides by tidal streams, making it ideal for industries needing sea access.