Posted: 31st January 2017 | Written by: Linda Cartlidge
As Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand goes from strength to strength, Managing Director Duthie Lidgard provides an insight into his role as an agent providing the very best service and support for yachts visiting the region.
Q: What’s your background and what prepared you for the role of a yacht agent?
A: A lifelong sailor, I’m also a qualified boat builder and spent 10 years working in the superyacht industry as a deckhand, engineer and captain (Master 3000gt). I also worked as an owner’s representative on new builds in Europe and Australia so I’m well-versed in the needs of the owner, captain, guests and crew.
Q: How do you keep up with the trends and changing demands of the industry?
A: We have a robust system in place to review our industry and we talk to clients to ensure their demands are met and ensure our future developments are in line. We’re very proud that APS New Zealand was a finalist in the Business Excellence and Export Awards NZ in 2013 and 2015.
Whether it's bespoke services or showing cost effective solutions for cruising and maintenance, our operation is set up to adapt to the needs of each and every client. Flexibility is key and saying 'no' isn’t an option!
Duthie Lidgard accepting Westpac Auckland Business Award
Q: What are the most important attributes in your role as an agent?
A: For me, in life and in business, success is about having drive, integrity and passion. I love what I do and love the daily challenges.
Q: How have your client base and services changed over the past five years?
A: Essentially our services are the same, but we’ve increased our offices so our reach across New Zealand has expanded. We’ve also changed how we interact with clients, focusing more on specific services for each individual client during their stay here in New Zealand.
Cathedral Cove, New Zealand - LegendPhotography
We’ve also been promoting New Zealand as a destination with a rich culture and great cruising grounds which has grown our client base and attracted larger vessels, especially motor yachts.
Our New Zealand offices are unique in being 100% Maori owned and operated, providing a firsthand connection with our culture.
Q: What has been the greatest challenge in running Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ?
A: The most difficult challenge over the past three years is knowing when you’ve reached capacity within your company and have to turn clients away; there’s no comprise on our level of service!
Whangarei Ship Repair, New Zealand
Q: And the highlight so far?
A: An important highlight was assisting one of the largest superyachts to visit and cruise New Zealand, a 130m vessel solely under our agency. We facilitated the whole itinerary for 15 guests and 50 crew over three weeks, taking care of daily requirements and assisting in required maintenance. We left no stone unturned.
More generally, the biggest thrill for me is waking up each morning knowing our business is in great shape. I work with a team of people who all share a common goal - to offer clients a highly efficient, proactive and friendly agency service.