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Buy Kiwi Made means ‘Buy Kiwi Made’

14 August 2006

Buy Kiwi Made means ‘Buy Kiwi Made’ – Not ‘Buy Made in China’.

The Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association Chief Executive John Walley says that he cannot understand why there is any debate over the Government’s proposal to widen the Buy Kiwi Made campaign.

“Buy Kiwi Made means ‘Buy Kiwi Made’”, says Mr. Walley. “How can it mean ‘Buy low cost country Made’? If your product is made offshore then is it not made in New Zealand. What part of the difference between Kiwi Made and not Kiwi Made don’t people understand?”

Mr. Walley says that by widening the Buy Kiwi Made to mean ‘made anywhere’ is a total repudiation of its objectives. He says that the pressure on the Government to water down the proposal is coming from companies looking to take advantage of the low costs offered by countries such as China, while at the same time trying to bolster the strength of their brand’s image with other New Zealand connotations.

“If it means so much to a company’s image to say to the consumer that a product is made in New Zealand then that company should make it here”, says Mr. Walley. “If they chase margin by producing offshore it is their choice to do so, but be honest about it they are not Kiwi made”.

“The problem is that even though the design and intellectual property components are retained locally, some firms are beginning to feel the pressure from those consumers anti low cost country production – make no mistake, this is the very core value of the Buy Kiwi Made programme. If successful, the Buy Kiwi Made efforts must associate higher values with ‘Kiwi Made’ than ‘low cost country made’ and each brand will need to make a choice based on that consumer pressure. It is a simple choice - be Kiwi Made or not – it is not possible, regardless of spin, to be both. Some are trying to fudge the issue and in so doing try to profit both ways by promoting New Zealand values while operating with low cost country costs. Keep it simple and reject such pretence.

“Buy Kiwi Made seeks to support the local economy, local labour force, local way of life and local industry standards; in a way that made in China does not”, says Mr. Walley. “Kiwi Made is an important quality in some brands and images, everyone else has the same opportunity to be Kiwi Made and it is their choice but please don’t try to have it both ways.”


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