Talking of manufacturing

The Press reports:

A new report released by ManufacturingNZ says contrary to popular belief, the New Zealand economy is actually heavy compared with other OECD nations.


Manufacturing contributed 14.6 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2012.

This makes New Zealand one of the more manufacturing- heavy economies of the OECD.

By mid-2013 there were 191,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Average wages are greater than those in the retail, accommodation and food service sectors

Also one manufacturer notes:

Skope managing director Guy Stewart said the company, which manufactured chillers and freezers for the hospitality and restaurant sectors with clients including Coca Cola Amatil, felt support had increased from the National Government compared with the previous Helen Clark-led Labour government.

“Helen saw manufacturing as a twilight industry, and boring and to be ignored. [Manufacturing] survived despite that position.”

I wonder what a living wage of $22.89 will do to manufacturers, as they compete with off shore manufacturers?

The report has some ideas:

Compiled by researcher Castalia, the report notes the Government has support initiatives under way, but says more can be done.

The Government needs to tailor export promotion, increase the supply of skilled workers, and help smaller New Zealand companies during government tendering processes.

They sound good ideas.

New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association chief executive John Walley said he agreed with the conclusion that the Government needed to develop an overarching manufacturing policy particularly for “added value” manufacturing.

Firms like Skope needed to be able to compete from a New Zealand base rather than move overseas, Walley said. A high kiwi versus other currencies was the biggest issue the sector faced, he added.

The Government does not set the exchange rate. We don’t have tens of billions of dollars to spare to try and manipulate the exchange rate to whatever level a lobby group says it should be

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