NZ manufacturers offer blueprint for economic recovery

Friday 1 May 2020

A new report released yesterday (30 April) by a group, including WPMA, and representing New Zealand’s manufacturing industry associations, outlines a blueprint to work with Government to strengthen manufacturing capability and reduce trade barriers to support the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

The New Zealand Manufacturing Alliance’s Manufacturing Matters report includes a range of policy proposals in the areas of innovation, capital and investment, trade, skills, procurement and achieving sustainable growth in a low-carbon economy. The proposals are designed to address challenges to the sector’s future including growing trade protectionism, the importance of adding value to basic commodities, transition to zero carbon, skills shortages, and the shift to the fourth industrial revolution.

The report highlights the crucial contribution manufacturing makes to the economy, accounting for 10 percent of New Zealand’s GDP and employment, more than half of exports and a third of business R&D expenditure it also underpins the success of other key sectors. The Manufacturing Alliance says a strong manufacturing sector is crucial to New Zealand’s future prosperity. The pandemic has highlighted the weaknesses of globalisation, the frailties of international supply chains and the vulnerability of relying on income from tourism and international education as major sources of export revenue.

A vibrant domestic manufacturing sector is going to be critical to New Zealand’s economic recovery, building resilience against future global shocks whether they be pandemics, recession or the challenges of climate change or natural disaster. In particular, as New Zealand moves into the recovery phase, it will be critical that as a nation we continue to work with others in ensuring international trade laws are upheld in the face of a rising tide of protectionism and other unfair trade practices.

New Zealand’s manufacturers are ready to work with Government to develop an industry transformation strategy to support the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery. The Manufacturing Alliance represents the NZ Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association, The Manufacturers Network, Metals New Zealand, Plastics NZ, and the NZ Maintenance Engineers Society.

The Alliance says that the invitation to the Government is now on the table to implement these policy recommendations and do what many other advanced economies have done – develop a cohesive strategy to grow the role of manufacturing in our economy.

Brian Stanley, WPMA Chair, says "that NZ needs to grow its wood manufacturing industry and create more good jobs in the regions. We’re now inviting the Government to work with us to make this happen.”

Please find attached the Manufacturing Matters Report and the Report Summary

Source: WPMA

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