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Masport Celebrates 95 Years With Commitment

06 May 2005:

Masport Celebrates 95 Years With Commitment To Sticking To What It Does Best

Auckland, 06 May 2005: After 95 years of manufacturing success, most companies can be excused for contemplating a new approach to business. But New Zealand home and garden product leader, Masport Limited, sees no reason to change a winning formula.

The icon Auckland-based company, which in recent years has seriously contemplated sourcing a significant level of finished goods from the Asian and Eastern European suppliers, has started a new financial year committed to doing what it has done best for almost a century - making quality products in New Zealand for the New Zealand and Australian markets.

One concession it has made is to step up the export push into new and other established offshore markets.

The decision by Masport to remain focused on domestic production bucks a trend which has seen an increasing number of local manufacturers, squeezed by the strengthening New Zealand dollar and an increase in the import of cheaper overseas products, join the rush to source finished goods offshore.

Masport General Manager Peter Batcheler says the decision to focus its future on continued New Zealand design and engineering excellence - made in its 95th anniversary year - is based on the confidence expressed by dealers and consumers in the accessibility and quality control of the local product.

“Masport’s historical success has been around the ability to deliver a quality product made for New Zealand conditions and to back that up with quality service and support,” he says. “But within the supply chain of goods sourced from overseas, quality and the ability to respond quickly to local needs are things you often lose control of. And that is when you starting getting consumer resistance.

“We believe in a manufacturing future at Masport where we have a significant capacity for both primary and secondary metal component manufacturing and finishing. So we remain committed to the New Zealand consumer, the New Zealand economy, and the employment of local people.

“Sure, we could save a few cents on a switch by shifting to Asia like other manufacturers have done. But it is not Asian business we are trying to build. Our focus is on satisfying the needs of the local markets and we are confident that is why our business will continue to prosper.”

Generations of New Zealanders have grown up with Masport products in or around their homes with its flagship rotary mowers, wood and gas fires and BBQs having stood the test of time for several generations. And the values that shaped the original Mason & Porter business back in 1910 - integrity, quality and service - remain fundamental to modern day Masport now.

Batcheler says that while most products have some imported components, “all our innovation and high end products are definitely Kiwi made - and we have every intention that it stays that way."

To confirm that commitment, Masport has re-joined the ‘Buy New Zealand Made’ campaign and from next month will proudly display the logo on its range of New Zealand made products, which now includes a growing range of lawn and garden accessories.

Masport was one of the first New Zealand manufacturers to successfully penetrate offshore markets, shipping its first order of vacuum pumps to the USA back in 1956, and has continued to experience strong growth at home and abroad now distributing to over 35 countries world wide.

It has also led the market in developing consumer acceptance of new product lines, such as the MSV lawnmower range. Launched during 2004, the MSV is widely regarded as the most innovative and efficient lawn mowing system to be developed in the last 15 years and has been extremely well received by consumers in New Zealand and Australia.

“Its that kind of success which has made us appreciate that as a Kiwi icon, Masport should stick to what it does best,” says Batcheler. “We will continue to make more quality products for more people in our home market and increasingly seek out niche export opportunities.”

ABOUT MASPORT LIMITED:

Founded in 1910, Masport originally made vacuum pumps and stationary engines for the farming industry. Within 20 years it had produced the first Masport ‘Rapid’ hand mower and by 1938 had produced the country’s first powered lawnmower. Today Masport manufactures and/or distributes more than 100 lawn and garden care products including barbecues, patio heaters and wood and gas fires - some of which are exported to over 35 countries worldwide.

ENDS

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