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Mactec Aerospace Wins Emerging Exporter Award


May 13, 2004
Media Release


An innovative company that began in a backyard garage has won Export New Zealand Canterbury’s Emerging Exporter of the Year Award 2004.

Mactec Aerospace International Ltd manufactures ground support equipment for the air industry, and in its three-year existence has gone from a backyard operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise, exporting to major clients in the civil and military aviation sectors.

The company has capitalised on co-founder Ken McDonald’s experience as an airline ramp manager, and Mike McDonald’s aircraft engineering background to design ground support equipment that is rapidly making Mactec an industry leader.

In the year December 2002 to 2003, Mactec achieved 80% growth in an aviation industry hit by the events of Septemer 11 and the New Zealand dollar was on the rise.

And from a backyard garage, the company is now housed in an 18,000 building and has plans for expansion.

Export New Zealand’s Emerging Exporter Award was recognition of a company that used innovation and original thinking to make it in a tough environment, ENZ Canterbury chairman Jim Grennell said.

“Their willingness to take a well-calculated risk has paid off,” Mr Grennell said.

“Mactec Aerospace have combined originality with sound business sense that clearly demonstrates that they will continue to grow. Their decision-making, the relationships they have developed, their systems and business philosophy of transparency all combine to make them real winners.”

The runner up is the Christchurch based manufacturer of internationally recognised kayak brand Cobra Kayaks, Melton Plastics.

A sister company of Cobra Kayaks USA, owners Clinton and Melissa Aitken started out small in April of 2002 and since then has weathered the storms of SARS and adverse currency rates to grow and develop strong new markets in the Southern Hemisphere.

Melton Plastics produces a broad range of kayaks for use in calm water touring, wave surfing and virtually everything in between.

“This company is a great example of people who have had the imagination to take a concept, bring it back to New Zealand and create a sound base for exports.

Melissa and Clinton Aitken identified a real niche, particularly with their utilization of the seasonal differences between hemispheres to grow their business further. They have a great future ahead of them,” Mr Grennell said.

The award winner will be announced tonight at a gala dinner at the Christchurch Casino.


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