A real cracker

Plans are taking shape for Cracker Bay, a new waterfront precinct and marina with dry-stack facilities in Auckland.

20 December 2023


Winton, one of New Zealand’s largest property developers, has revealed its plans for the former Pier 21 Marine Precinct in Auckland’s Cracker Bay, to complement the well-used dry-stack and marina.

The new precinct – Cracker Bay – is set on an expansive piece of land between Beaumont Street, Westhaven Drive and a long stretch of waterfront. It will combine hospitality offerings, including new restaurants, bars and casual eateries, with the exclusivity of a private yacht club.

Winton, which is also responsible for the luxury retirement complex Northbrook, says it envisions Cracker Bay as a marine-focussed precinct connecting the existing marina and boat park with a range of hospitality venues in a sun-soaked setting people can enjoy.

The development will also add multifunctional event space, suitable for functions including weddings, and extend Auckland’s promenade walkway, which currently abruptly veers off the water by Westhaven Drive.


The firm was founded by Chris and Michaela Meehan, world-class sailors in their own right. Michaela is a three-time Olympian in the 470 class, while Chris has competed in a series of world championships in 470s, Farr40s and Dragon classes.

Chris and Michaela have entrusted this development to a team of marine experts, including Wayne Avery, who runs the Cracker Bay Dry Stack and Marina; and Shaun Niven, one of the precinct’s development managers.

“Wayne grew up sailing racing dinghies and was a professional superyacht captain for 30 years, sailing around the world three times. He’s the perfect fit for Cracker Bay,” says Chris Meehan.

Niven, a luxury boating designer, brings his attention to detail to Winton’s operation. “Shaun’s responsible for redeveloping the marina and helping create the food and beverage precinct,” explains Chris.

Niven says he is excited about Winton’s plans: “Auckland has allowed parts of its downtown waterfront to languish in obscurity, but Chris and the team at Winton are creating a development that promises to unlock the value of Auckland’s waterfront in a way that has never been done before.”

Avery echoes this sentiment, adding, “Cracker Bay is the perfect evolution of Winton’s groundbreaking and multifaceted vision, and perfectly complements what we’re already doing at the boat park.”

Cracker Bay’s 42-berth marina offers berths for boats from 10 to 18 metres in length, while the dry-stack facility offers parking for 192 boats up to 9 metres in length. The team at Cracker Bay is also offering free trailer parking for a limited time only, subject to conditions apply.

Spaces are still available in both the marina and the dry stack, which is located at 15 Westhaven Drive, although Winton says it expects demand to increase as work progresses.

“Spaces in both the marina and the covered dry stack are available now for those who want to enjoy their days on the water, and afterwards, take advantage of the world-class hospitality and facilities Cracker Bay will offer,” says Avery.



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