Funding set to expand deep dive marine work

Published: 10 November, 2022

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  • Bay of Plenty
  • Waikato

A $700,000 Regional Strategic Partnership Fund hyperlink loan for specialist scientific diving business, Deep Dive Division, will enable its operations to expand and create 6 new skilled jobs.

Three people dressed formally, stand in a room in front of a Kānoa sign. Man on right holds an underwater diving mask.

Minister Stuart Nash (centre) with Tua (right) and Courtney Karalus (left) from Deep Dive Division.

Minister for Economic and Regional Development Stuart Nash announced the Kānoa-RDU investment at the same time as the Hamilton-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Tauranga with the University of Waikato to research the commercial viability of seaweed species.

Deep Dive Division will undertake the planting and cultivation of seaweed underwater and the University will conduct research on those species - Deep Dive Division

“There is a shortage of expertise and vessels to provide marine services and specifically, install lines for seaweed farming and Deep Dive has the expertise to fill this gap,” he says.

“This loan is supporting a $1.4 million expansion project for Deep Dive Division, which is the only Māori and Pasifika owned commercial and scientific dive company in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“It will use the funding to purchase a 20-metre vessel to expand its core marine servicing operations and buy a decompression chamber to expand the company’s ability to work at a depth below 30 metres. The six new full-time roles will range from an operations manager to divers and supervisors.

“This is a strategic investment in a specialist high-value sector. The Government’s goal is to grow our aquaculture industry to reach $3 billion in annual sales by 2035 and have a skilled workforce to support it.

“We are investing in the future wellbeing of our regions with a company that is committed to positive social and environmental impact. Deep Dive is passionate about keeping Aotearoa marine specialists at the forefront of the local aquaculture industry. This project will create rewarding and exciting job opportunities in our regional communities and support a sustainable aquaculture value chain,” says Stuart Nash.