“Having the best maintained inshore fleet with on board quality control and best practice fish handling, an efficient wharf facility and the new factory just ‘a forklift away’ Westfleet is leading the way in Australasia when it comes to vertical integration.” Craig Boote, Managing Director & CEO
Westfleet – Born Out of A Passion For Fishing
In 1979, a group of some 25 hard working, forward thinking fisherman joined efforts and resources, starting the Westfleet Fishermans Cooperative Limited, by buying out what was at the time, Nelson Fisheries. With an aim of securing a say in their own fishing future – faced with the ever expanding growth of large factories around New Zealand – the fisherman got to work, putting their vessels and their livelihoods out to sea on the Westcoast of New Zealand. With ownership of quota, wharf facilities, processing capacity and a distribution chain, Westfleet supplied demanding markets with West Coast fish for 26 years.
Purchased in 2006 by Craig Boote (Endurance Fishing) in partnership with Sealords, Westfleet took on a new direction based on the same foundations that served it well since inception.
Continued growth and investment in vessels, facilities and people have transformed Westfleet onto a path to a sustainable future.
If you were going to build a 3500m2 factory to supply local and export fish markets, you first need the raw material. Westfleet has grown its quota portfolio from 750 to 4800 tonnes (including 1500 tonnes of hoki quota) placing Westfleet with a secure future for its operations.
This approach to growth puts Westfleet on a path that sets it apart from other competitors.
CEO Craig Boote puts it well – “I want a company to be proud of, that Greymouth will be proud of, and the workers feel like they are part of something worthwhile. I don’t want Westfleet to be the biggest but I do want it to be the best.”
With a leading management approach, excellent facilities and a vertically integrated business structure, Westfleet continues to lead in innovation and forward thinking.
Westfleet Seafoods – Part of the community
As a company with an eye on the future, and the people who will ensure it gets there, Westfleet places huge value in ensuring the vibrancy and support of its community – both here on the West coast, and around New Zealand.
Westfleet is not only one of the largest employers on the coast, is a strong supporter and backer of many great organisations, places, people and events. Some of the recent involvements include; sponsoring the West coast rescue helicopter, donating to local schools and education facilities, sporting events and teams from local rugby & rugby league, to national and local motorsport, to tertiary scholarships for students.
Looking Back – The history of our wharf at Greymouth
The wharves at Greymouth offer a colourful and pioneering story to those who delve into their history.
Dealing with the onslaught of the wild tasman sea, fueled by the momentum of the ‘roaring forties’, and the immense volumes of flood-prone water sweeping down from the Grey river itself, building a port and wharf at Greymouth was never going to be an easy task.
But with such riches to be exported, ‘black-gold’ coal, and real gold itself, and the later fisheries riches, the West Coast needed a suitable port, and Greymouth was chosen.
The first vessel to cross the Greymouth bar was the ‘Emerald Isle’ in 1857, spawning a rush of coastal traders, coal merchants and gold prospectors.
Early seafarers quickly learned to respect the Greymouth bar, and she claimed plenty of vessels and lives in the early years. Even today, mariners negotiating the Greymouth bar, approach with the utmost respect in all weather conditions.
A milestone occurred in 1879, with the first works on the Greymouth harbour being started. The wharves expanded through the late 1800’s, which a channel being dredged across the front of Tainui Street allowing land reclamation, and the construction of over 1200 foot of wharves in the area close to where Westfleet’s wharves lie today.
Further works in 1903 included the addition of a northern breakwater, which created the harbour entrance, largely as we know it now.
Since their inception, the port and wharves at Greymouth have been the setting of many stories, local legends and historical events. With such a rich and colourful past behind it, Westfleet is proud to be associated with, and contributing to, such an integral part of the West Coast’s vibrant history.