Our Story

Splashzone Marine is a thriving fishing, crayfishing, passenger, cargo and work boats company based in the Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Owned by husband and wife team Richard and Jean Kibblewhite.  The company currently has 3 boats operating off the North Island of New Zealand and a 4th boat in partnership with Gisborne Fisheries Ltd.

Richard and Jean started Splashzone after a 4 year stint in Broome working on the pearling boats, Richard diving and Jean in Pearl operations.

When they came home from Australia, Richard and Jean began in the fishing industry by purchasing and diving for paua quota based in the Wairarapa.

Three crew worked off Flat Point from the Boat ‘Waterways’, September, October, November, December and January, diving for 12 tonnes of Paua, which were all measured and delivered to Combined Products for processing and export.

Richard and Jean then purchased and leased some crayfish quota, and began fishing out of Flat Point with Mike Griffith as crew.  Richard had always admired the way both Richard Verrant and Ray Ocallahan had wet fished from their small boats off Whangaehu beach in the Southern Hawkes Bay.

Their first wet fishing was for Butterfish, with a kindly lent licence from David Paton, a couple of nets, and a bit of advice.

Splashzone changed it’s name to Splashzone Marine Ltd in 2016 and is looking to the future and as a part of its business strategy, all three boats are capable of catching fish and cray fishing along with varied commercial work.

Our paua business has been sold to one of our paua divers as an on going business. And our Wairarapa based crayfishing boat Jeany-K has been sold to our long term Skipper and crew, The Griffith Family.

Splashzone Marine is now based permanently from their family farm, continuing generations of living in the Whangaehu Valley, Porangahau, Hawkes Bay.

It is important to acknowledge the excellent support from private Quota Owners that add to the annual fishing plan.

Richard Kibblewhite

Richard Kibblewhite

Skipper and Owner

Skipper and owner Richard Kibblewhite enjoys his stint behind the wheel for a few months of the year, when he gets to become skipper and head out crayfishing at Whangaehu. It is a welcome relief from the day to day business stresses of the business, and a complete change of mind set when you have to be thinking only of tractor and boat, best launching spot, best spot for the pots, dodging the inshore swell, and hunting the crustacean.

View Richard on Linked In

Jean Kibblewhite

Jean Kibblewhite


Jean is a partner of the business and is involved with office support for the expanding Splashzone Marine business.

We have been involved together for over 30 years, we plan and discuss all major decisions in our business together. “There have been good times, hard times and everything in between.”

But together we thrive on and thoroughly enjoy our company.

The crew, clients, other fishers all mix up for a great life!

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