The president and I – Yes we can!
New Zealand has some outstanding companies that testify to the fact that manufacturing here, and succeeding is real possibility.
Recently I accepted an invitation to be one of three judges for the Auckland Export Awards organised by Export New Zealand. In the past, I have avoided such roles due to the belief that I would not get a return on the time I have to invest in. I was wrong! I now regret not taking up past opportunities.
Part of the judging process is to receive and read a number of written applications. From these, we narrow the list down to whom we choose to visit and later ask more in depth questions around the criteria defined by Export New Zealand.
New Zealand has some outstanding companies. We have some companies that are selling products on the international stage that New Zealand as a country should be very proud of.
I visited companies that have huge manufacturing operations. They manufacture large bulky items that are exported all around the world.
Temperzone employ some 480 people, manufacturing air conditioning equipment that is exported to Australia, New Zealand, China/Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Pacific Islands, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Mauritius. From the street you can its massive factory – it must be well over 100,000 square feet.
I also had the privilege to visit Douglas Pharmaceuticals. Douglas Pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in Australasia. We were shown the company’s state-of-the-art facilities. If I had seen this on television, I would have sworn it was located in another country.
We also visited Emerald Foods which manufactures premium ice cream including Mövenpick, Killinchy gold, heavenly treats, and exports to Asia Pacific.
In the technology area, we also had an hour or so with Endace. Endace is a global business, selling products in over 30 countries, with regional sales, marketing and support operations in Chantilly in the U.S., Reading in the UK and Singapore.
Endace designs, develops, sells and supports high-speed packet capture technology, open development environments and multi-function network monitoring appliances.
The growth rate of almost all of these companies has been huge over the last few years. Just as important is this: their growth prospect appears to be massive. so “yes we can”. New Zealand can do it. We can foot it on the international stage. We can manufacture in New Zealand – well, not everything, but a lot can be.
It is spring! While walking over the weekend I noticed a lot of white spring flowers. It is no longer green shots in the economy. It has moved onto the white flowers of spring perhaps. Housing seems to be off the bottom, tourism numbers have held up well, milk auction prices have had a couple of rises and more people are wanting to live here than those leaving. Things are a tad more cheerful, I hope.