Minister for Manufacturing a vital step for New Zealand Manufacturers

21 July 2016

Media Release - 21 July 2016

Manufacturers are pleased with today’s announcement by James Shaw and the Green Party to include a Minster for Manufacturing in any future cabinet. This is a vital step for ensuring government understands manufacturing and can effectively help unleash the potential of the sector. This is a solid idea that we hope can be embraced by any and all political parties, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).

NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “Manufacturing remains one of the biggest providers of quality jobs with wages higher than the average, economic growth and export income into New Zealand. Yet manufacturing has been undervalued and not well understood by governments for a long time – this is a stark contrast to the focus and representation most other sectors find within government.

“When we consider the importance of manufacturing to New Zealand’s future, introducing a Minister for Manufacturing is a common sense decision. This will help government and manufacturing businesses better work together to achieve our goals of sustainable high-value growth, increased export income and more well paid jobs for our people.

“A specific focus on manufacturing and industry in government is an idea that is being increasingly embraced by governments around the world. The new UK Prime Minister has introduced a new industrial strategy, as well as the U.S, Australian and German Governments all putting considerable effort into strategy’s to understand and improve their high-value manufacturing sectors into the future. New Zealand cannot stand idle while our competitors take manufacturing seriously.

“Manufacturing also faces significant changes in the future that will act as threats, as well as huge opportunities for New Zealand if we can get ahead, such as Industry 4.0, automation and other technologies like 3D printing. A more focused view of manufacturing, through a Minister for Manufacturing, will help develop more effective responses to these changes.” says Dieter.