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Norsewear Hosts Minister of Economic Development


8 August 2006

Norsewear Hosts the Minister of Economic Development

The Minister of Economic Development Trevor Mallard was welcomed to the Petone premises of Norsewear New Zealand on Friday by company CEO Robert Linterman.

“Norsewear was delighted the Minister visited and we welcomed the opportunity to discuss the success of our business with him. We are incredibly proud to be a New Zealand made company. Our company sells only quality 100% New Zealand manufactured clothing made from a range of local materials including wool, fine merino, possum, oil skin and high-tech fabrics,” says Mr Linterman.

“Our success is based on the belief that consumers want good quality New Zealand made products which use only New Zealand made materials. That is why Norsewear will never be tempted to manufacture in China,” he says.

One purpose of the Minister’s visit was to see how Norsewear had used just over $110,000 in funding from programmes run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and its predecessor Industry New Zealand.

“While Norsewear is considered an iconic New Zealand brand by many people, we felt we needed to better understand what customers valued about our products. The results of the research showed people valued Norsewear’s uncompromising commitment to quality and our determination to stay New Zealand made and ‘true to the country’” says Mr Linterman.

“It is clear the funding has helped us re-focusing and re-energising the company. We recently entered NZTE’s Better by Design programme and, following a design audit, we also completed a project aimed at ensuring the Norsewear brand story is well understood by its staff and customers” he says.

The company’s range includes Norsewear workwear and leisurewear and fine merino Norsetech branded casualwear. Norsewear also produces the New Zealand Natural Clothing line which appeals to tourists and customers looking for luxury apparel and accessories.

In addition to strong local sales, Norsewear exports to a wide range of markets including Australia, Switzerland, the United States of America and Japan.

About Norsewear
Norsewear was established in 1963 as Norsewear Homecrafts by Ola Rian. In 1968, Mr Rian - who at the time was the Consul General for Norway - was invited to attend celebrations in the southern Hawke’s Bay village of Norsewood. Mr Rian was immediately captivated by the clean, green, unpopulated countryside of Norsewood and decided to relocate his business there in 1969.
The business grew steadily. Expansion in domestic and overseas sales led to a rapid expansion in manufacturing capacity. Bigger premises were acquired in 1980 to meet ever-increasing demand.
Norsewear products are manufactured at the founding factory in Norsewood and at the former Oscar Eide factory in Wanganui (Norsewear purchased the Oscar Eide business in the late 90s). Burleigh Evatt recently bought a majority share of Norsewear which has encouraged the company to review its operations in New Zealand and overseas.
With bigger premises and the capacity to manufacture more clothing, Norsewear’s business has expanded into export markets including, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland, the United States of America and Japan.
Norsewear Limited has received government support as part of a knitwear cluster (Wool Yarns New Zealand) to attend market visits in the United States and for entry to the Better by Design programme.

About Better by Design

Better by Design aims to help New Zealand companies make world-class design a bigger differentiator for their products and services in export markets.

Design does not just mean the aesthetic - an add-on to make something look better. Rather it’s about design-led thinking – a more complex, collaborative and integrated approach to producing the very best products and services with a meaningful point of difference.

The Better by Design programme is designed to provide practical support and assistance to help companies integrate design through all aspects of their business – from leadership, culture, strategy and research right through to functional and aesthetic design, production, packaging, branding and distribution.

The programme includes design audits and mentoring for approved companies, education courses, design education internships for final-year students and new graduates, funding for specific design projects and a range of information resources and events.


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