Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


Craig Stevens University of Auckland

With a population of 4.7 million people and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the global top 10 in terms of size, New Zealand/Aotearoa is essentially a maritime nation. It also has a high proportion of renewable electricity supply already but it is highly dependent on imported transport energy. There is also limited demand for energy at present.

A recent review put out a call for better investment in marine technology and engineering, especially in the tertiary education sector:

  • Stevens, C., & O’Callaghan, J. (2015). When the holiday is over: being clever in New Zealand’s marine domain. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 45(2), 89-94.

New Zealand has a well-developed underlying marine energy supply chain capability to support NZMEC marine energy fabrication and servicing activities. This is due to the country’s longstanding experience in a variety of relevant disciplines including hydro and wind power, offshore oil & gas, marine engineering and boatbuilding. Notable elements of New Zealand’s marine energy supply chain include:

  • Significant marine energy research capabilities and expertise within the Universities and government-funded research agencies.
  • Particular strengths arising from NZ’s renewables-based power sector, offshore oil & gas industry and onshore fabrication capabilities.
  • An advanced marine modelling capability, critical to the design and feasibility of project development.
  • Expertise in design, implementation, automation and control systems, arising from NZ’s experience in operating Cook Strait HVDC links.
  • World leading capability in grid management of electricity sourced from renewable energy generation, including network embedded generation.
  • The manufacture of advanced composite marine materials and structures best demonstrated by the yachts in the 2013 America’s Cup.