Assuming you go ahead with your plan then when the boat is imported into NZ it will be liable to 5% duty and 15% GST. It doesn't matter how the boat arrives in NZ. You'll probably be allowed a concession of the duty portion if you don't sell the boat within 2 years of arrival. But you'll need to check you comply. New Zealand Customs Service : Motor vehicles, boats & aircraft
And GST and duty rates can change at any time. I remember Roger Douglas, the then Min of Finance saying GST would always be 10%, yeah right.
But Alistair you might want to review which registry to use.
Some people might consider registering the boat in NZ is a negative. It will mean that for that vessel to leave NZ again (under sail) then it will need to gain a Cat. 1 clearance. That can be expensive, difficult and time consuming. I'm not suggesting anyone would or should skimp on the safety
of their vessel; just pointing out the fact.
You would likely qualify to register the boat under the British Small Ships Register, or perhaps the Channel Islands (Jersey) register, plus many others. If registered outside of NZ then the boat's resale value inside NZ would perhaps be higher. It also means it would be much simpler to clear Customs
and sail the boat offshore
from NZ (irrespective of ownership).
Where to register is a common debate here in NZ. The rules for Cat 1 are set by Yachting NZ and are all based around offshore
in the cold and stormy seas around NZ. The requirements don't necessarily fit a slow old cruiser sailing up to Tonga
for a few months of gunk holing in the sun. So for many people the requirements seem an over kill.
I would encourage you to spend NZ$11.50 and buy a copy of Yachting NZ's Safety Regulations
. Here's the link
. You'll then be able to spend a few hours deciding yourself whether any boat you might purchase will likely comply. The guide is actually a very comprehensive checklist for an ocean cruiser.
Obviously much depends on the age and type of vessel you end up buying, along with the plans you have for the boat once you get it back to NZ.