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 also offers businesses a simple tax structure that supports investment in research and development.
A well-educated, skilled workforceNew Zealand’s knowledge-intensive, high-value manufacturing sector uses the country’s skilled and experienced workforce to transform products and processes.
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.
Cost-competitive labourNew 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 environmentCollaboration 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 2016 Research and Development Growth Grants scheme, Callaghan Innovation has awarded grants worth $18.5 million over three years to 23 high-tech companies across a range of sectors. The Government has also committed funding to increase the number of engineering graduates and invested $35million in Entrepreneurship Universities.
AviationNew 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. 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).