With most New Zealanders unable to travel internationally due to COVID restrictions, kiwis
are finding new ways to spend their holiday budget. For Pauline and Craig Lyons of Turangi
Marine, the pandemic has created some unexpected benefits. “Over the first COVID
lockdown our business took a hit. But now things are really busy. We’re finding that
customers that would normally travel overseas for a holiday are spending their money
locally, rather than just leaving it in the bank” says Pauline.
Together Craig and Pauline have over 40 years of experience in the marine industry, and
Craig has been part of the local Coastguard Unit for over 27 years. “For us it’s about getting
to know our customers and their families, so we can help find the right watercraft for their
needs, and their ability. We make sure they have everything they need to be safe on the
water” says Pauline.
Turangi Marine are active supporters of the Southern Lakes and Tongariro communities,
sponsoring a range of children’s charities, conservation projects, and the annual Omori
Kuratau Fishing Competition. The team are passionate about the area, and love spending
time in the Kaimanawa ranges, Tongariro National Park, and out on Lake Taupō.
Over the past five years the couple have grown the business from four to ten staff
members, including five marine trained and qualified mechanics. This specialist knowledge means the business has a reputation for high quality boat fit-outs and repairs. “We have pretty high standards and take the time to do the job properly. Once we’ve sold a new boat
or jet ski we have an on-the-water handover with the customer, so they can feel safe and
confident with their new purchase” says Pauline.
Craig and Pauline are always looking out for new markets and products to build on their
range. Along with selling new Buccaneer and Extreme boats and new Yamaha outboards
and jet skis, they have a retail space stocked with marine safety gear, and other watersports
equipment. “We’ve had great support from the team at Enterprise Great Lake Taupō. At
each stage in our growth we’ve received really helpful advice through the business mentor
programme, and we’re currently working on our latest business plan with Mike Bowie” she
When asked for her advice to other local businesses facing challenges, Pauline says to look
for the opportunities. “Think about what you can improve, and how you can adapt. Employ
good people and empower them to step up - you don’t need to do everything yourself” she
says. Pauline also recommends that businesses invest in marketing. “Find out what type of
marketing works for your business and your industry, and then put money into it. I used to
see marketing as an unnecessary expense, but I’ve learnt it’s a critical part of our success”