Issue 29 – July 2011
Metals New Zealand (NZ) was officially launched on 14 April 2011 at its industry conference in Wellington. Metals NZ is an incorporated society serving the needs of New Zealand's metals- related industry and it was announced as a new sector-overarching body giving a united voice to the metals-based industry of New Zealand.
The conference was a great demonstration of the importance of the metal-engineering industry and an expression of being forward-looking. The figures tell the story: an industry worth over $7.3 billion each year with around 30% of this in exports, accounting for 5.5% share of New Zealand's exports. It is inspiring that New Zealand competes as a steel and aluminium supplier to the world and that its exports are mainly in high-value niche manufacturing as diverse as super yachts and machinery to steel frames for houses, milking carousels, gas compressors, desalination plants, and drying kilns for timber.
Yet the importance of the metal industry is little recognised because the industry is a quiet achiever lacking a special advocacy voice. This lack of representation is mainly due to its very diverse nature across a wide range of sectors and its association to other sectors such as food processing. Although of strategic importance and a strong GDP contributor, the industry is under represented in terms of its share of research and development (R&D) money and the business development support it receives from Government and other entities.
Metals New Zealand intends to change the way the industry is viewed and treated, and the industry conference was the event that launched the new association. The Acting Minister for Economic Development, Hon David Carter, explicitly recognised in his keynote address that the industry is important and on the right track. Keynote addresses by Metals NZ Chairman Noel Davies, Hon Minister David Carter, and others can be downloaded from the Conference section at www.metals.org.nz.
The conference focussed on driving industry development by linking industry stakeholders from manufacturers to R&D providers to representatives of target markets. All of the metals industry sector organisations – and organisational members of Metals NZ – such as Steel Construction New Zealand (SCNZ), National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH), NZ Stainless Steel Development Association (NZSSDA), Light Alloy Manufacturing Association (LAMNZ), and their common core research association, New Zealand Heavy Engineering Association (HERA), organised their own sessions under the theme of 'Driving productivity and innovation'. The prestigious Metals Industry Awards Gala Dinner, held during the conference, recognised the exceptional and noteworthy achievements of individuals and companies within the industry.
Visit www.metals.org.nz for more information.