Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in New Zealand

The manufacturing industry in New Zealand makes an important contribution to the national economy. In 2011 the manufacturing sector accounted for 12.2% of the country’s GDP. The proportion of the labour force employed in manufacturing was around 10.3% for the same year (New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview, 2012). Manufacturing is the largest employer in the Auckland region and second largest in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s manufacturing industries include: aviation; meat and dairy products; clean technology; defence; heavy and light engineering; marine; and plastics. Production from the primary processing sector, including food and beverages, makes up the most significant proportion of the manufacturing sector as a whole. The climate in New Zealand gives the potential for year round production of food products; this combined with the absence of major agricultural diseases makes New Zealand an important producer of food products. The food industry had sales of over NZD$40.2 billion in 2011, including more than NZD$27 billion for meat and dairy products (New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview 2012).

A major stakeholder in the food production industry in New Zealand is Fonterra, a well-known producer of dairy products.  Fonterra employs over 16,000 people in New Zealand and across the globe, and exports to 140 different countries. Another Key food production company is Alliance Group, who specialise in the production of meat for consumption from sheep, cattle and deer.

New Zealand is a large exporter of dairy products and meat products which comprise 18% and 10% of the country’s total yearly exports respectively. 21% of the country’s totally yearly exports go to Australia; other major export partners include the US, Asia, and the UK (Observatory of Economic Complexity, 2010).

New Zealand’s economy was negatively affected by the global economic crisis, with the impact of weaker global demand flowing into the manufacturing sector, resulting in an 11.3% fall in output in 2009. The sector began to recover towards the end of 2010 and start of 2011, rising 2.3% on a quarterly basis in the September 2011 quarter (New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview 2012). In 2013, following the manufacturing sectors quick recovery, a parliamentary report ‘Manufacturing: The New Consensus- a Blueprint for Better Jobs and Higher Wages’, outlined several recommendations in order to assist in the continual success and strength of New Zealand’s manufacturing sector. These recommendations included: government adoption of a more stable exchange rate through monetary reforms; refocusing of capital investment into the production sector; lowering structural costs such as electricity prices; and government adoption of a national procurement policy that favours locally made produce and ensures that local manufacturers share the same benefits as their international competitors.

The 2012-2013 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report rates New Zealand as 29 out of 144 countries based on production process sophistication, scoring 5.1 out of 7, where 7 is the most sophisticated. This is fairly standard score for the region, with Australia having a similar ranking of 24 and scoring 5.1 (WEF 2013).

Industry and Manufacturing organisations in New Zealand
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