Responding to questions of how he came to work with Superyacht clients in New Zealand together with the gratifying growth of Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand, the hard driving and personable Duthie Lidgard shared some background and what it takes for him and his team to provide the best of superyacht services and support to vessels visiting New Zealand.
Q: Please share some of your personal and business background that prepared you for your success.
A: A lifelong sailor, I am a qualified boat builder who spent ten years working in the superyacht industry as a deckhand, engineer and Master 3000gt-certified captain. Having worked as an owner’s representative on new builds in Europe and Australia I’m well-versed in the needs of owner, captain, guests and crew.
Q: Give an example of a trip/ experience that is a highlight of your life in yachting
A: A highlight was being the Agent and assisting one of the largest superyachts to visit and cruise New Zealand, 130m+ – solely under our agency and facilitating the complete trip with a bespoke Itinerary for 15+ guests over 3 weeks, 50 crew daily requirements and assisting in their required maintenance. We left no stone unturned during their stay in New Zealand.
Q: How do you keep up with changing demands of the industry?
A: As finalists in Business Excellence and Export Awards NZ in 2013 and 2015 we have a robust business review system in place where we continue to review our Industry and talk to our clients to ensure their current demands are met, whilst in turn ensuring our future developments are in line with how our clients also see the Industry change.
Whether it is larger demand on bespoke services or showing cost effective solutions across all aspects of cruising and maintenance our operation is set up for immediate change and can easily adapt to the changes needed for each and every client. Flexibility is key! Saying it can’t happen is not an option!
Q: What are the most important attributes you possess for your life? For your work?
A: Important attribute for me in Life and in business is Drive – I drive myself with purpose and align with excellence , Integrity – Integrity creates and shows my character and defines who I am, Passion – I want to succeed, it’s not politeness that will get me there but rather passion. I love what I do and love the daily challenges.
Q: In what ways has your client base and services changed in the past 1- 5 years?
A: Over the last 5 years our services basically are the same, our offices and reach across New Zealand has expanded. We have changed how we interact and offer these services to our clients; we focus on specific services for each client during their stay in New Zealand, and ensure we remain flexible to meet all their requirements.
Client base has been increasing over the years at a steady rate and we have been focusing and promoting more of New Zealand as a destination and our Culture, which no other country can offer for Charter and for Cruising, which has seen our client base attract the larger vessels, especially motoryachts.
Our offices in New Zealand are unique in being 100% Maori owned and operated, offering a true connection that ties directly with our culture first hand.
Q: In your life and/ or work… what are your biggest thrills? Your biggest challenges?
A: Biggest thrill for me is waking up each morning knowing Global Domination is just around the corner. Drive + Passion + Integrity, I work with a team who all share a common belief – to be the best service provider. We offer clients a highly efficient, proactive and friendly agency service.
Biggest Challenge for the last 3 years is to know when you have reached maximum capacity within your company and have to turn clients away, there is no comprise on our level of service!