Boating & Outdoors Group held its annual two-day conference in Rotorua on July 28-29. Boating NZ was invited to attend.

Started in the early 1990s with just four or five independent boating and marine businesses which clubbed together for more buying power with suppliers, Boating & Outdoors is now New Zealand’s largest buying group operating in the marine and outdoors sector. It numbers 25 independently-owned stores across the North and South Islands.

For Boating & Outdoors members and Kiwi boaters and fishers alike, more stores and greater scale equals better buying power, which means cheaper prices, more specialists and an extensive range of top-quality products across the board, says Group CEO Grant Sheridan.

Delegates mingle in Rotorua.

Sheridan also says the Boating & Outdoors proposition to the market is unique compared to its competitors, since Boating and Outdoors stores sell and service boats and also provide a comprehensive service to customers for specialist marine products needing expert fitting and installation. All Boating & Outdoors installation teams are expertly trained and qualified marine specialists.

At the Conference Sheridan outlined his vision for the business: to move from being a smaller player in the sector to being the first choice for New Zealand boaties and outdoor seekers, not only because of the attractive product range and prices, but also for high levels of service and expertise delivered by very passionate people.

Sheridan also says he is aiming to transition Boating & Outdoors from purely a buying group to a selling group as well, with improved collaboration between stores and suppliers and a more uniform and consistent offering to customers. He also outlined his vision for growth, changes to systems, and to marketing, with a strong focus on developing the group’s human potential.


Supplier of the Year, Hutchwilco.

The conference, themed “Where Challenge Meets Opportunity,” brought together members and suppliers, who were invited to a private expo where they presented products that offered new opportunities to members.

By all accounts the conference was a great success – and also lots of fun with its emphasis on building co-operation and engagement.

The conference culminated with an awards dinner on Saturday evening at the Te Puia Events Centre in Rotorua. Hutchwilco was recognised as the Group Supplier of the Year. Century Yuasa, Oceansouth, Lusty & Blundell, Garmin, Griffith and Wake Action all picked up category awards. The Group Member of the Year was Caters Marine in Opua, with Whangarei’s All Marine the runner up. BNZ