New Zealand is an ideal location for investors looking for a competitive, developed country in which to drive niche production and sales in the Asia Pacific region. Its manufacturing industry has earned a reputation for being flexible, resilient, adaptable and entrepreneurial.
New Zealand’s global advantage is in manufacturing high-value, short-run production cycles. Key areas of strength and opportunity include the aviation, energy, healthcare, marine, security, industrial equipment, and food, beverage and bio-processing technology sectors.
A skilled workforce and innovations in metal, plastics and composites creates an attractive opportunity for investors. New Zealand offers businesses a simple tax structure that supports investment in research and development.
From high-tech manufacturing to healthcare, New Zealand is responsible for some of the world’s most significant breakthroughs. It was New Zealand innovation that led to the splitting of the atom, the joint discovery of the structure of DNA, the invention of the disposable syringe and modern water jet propulsion.
A well-educated, skilled workforce
New Zealand’s knowledge-intensive, high-value manufacturing sector uses the county’s skilled and experienced workforce to transform products and processes. This gives manufacturers a competitive edge.
New Zealand has a small and well-educated population, with one of the highest tertiary qualification rates in the world. Its manufacturing operations are well staffed, and have established a solid history of high-quality production and innovation. Currently, 40 percent of the adult workforce holds tertiary qualifications, compared with the OECD average of 32 percent.
Intelligent design founded on the discipline of customer focus
With a culture of creative self-sufficiency and resilience, the New Zealand workforce is known for original thinking with a fresh perspective that animates research and development processes and leads to the design of clever, pragmatic innovations.
New Zealand’s skilled labour force is cost competitive by developed country standards.
Engineering employee costs are also lower in New Zealand, making it an attractive place to set up a high-value manufacturing business.
Collaborative research and development environment
Collaboration between research institutes, universities and the private sector is a significant feature of the New Zealand economy, leading to user-focused products and processes. There is a range of research-focused organisations of direct relevance to high-value manufacturing and services. These include Callaghan Innovation, eight universities and seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs).
Government support for science and innovation
The New Zealand Government actively supports the development and commercialisation of technology and innovation. It also recognises collaborative research as a critical driver for business growth. For example, under the Research and Development Growth Grants scheme, Callaghan Innovation has awarded $32 million over three years to 22 high-tech companies.
New Zealand’s rugged topography and geographical location makes aviation vital to our economy. Over many decades, New Zealand has developed one of the world’s most efficient, profitable and innovative aviation systems. Today, aviation is the foundation of our modern, highly connected and prosperous economy. The aviation industry annually exports NZ$3.8 billion of products and services and contributes 6.9 percent of New Zealand's GDP.
Thirty percent growth is projected over the next five years in light aircraft design and manufacture, business aircraft interiors, aircraft parts, airline operations, airport infrastructure, aviation services, maintenance, repair and overhaul, and training.
International aviation companies with investments in New Zealand include Aviall (US), CTC Aviation Training (UK), Eurocopter (France), Hawker Pacific (US), HNZ (Canada) and Pratt and Whitney (US).
New Zealand is a nautical nation and has inspired great boat designers and world-beating yachting teams. With that comes a marine industry of rare skill and capability, from building super yachts to supporting America's Cup challenges and everything in between. Success is based on skills and technology in electronics, software, sails, hull design, spars and fittings incorporating leading-edge design and materials.