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‘Buy Kiwi Made’ - a step in the right direction

10 October 2006.

‘Buy Kiwi Made’ decision – a step in the right direction.

The Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association says that the Government’s decision not to extend the ‘Buy Kiwi Made’ brand to companies that produce their goods overseas is a step in the right direction in supporting manufacturers in New Zealand.

CEO John Walley says to have widened a programme that sought to promote the value of buying local to include companies that produce offshore would have made the whole issue a farce.

“The Government came under pressure from companies who wanted to profit both from using low cost countries and carry local brand associations via, Buy Kiwi Made”, says Mr. Walley. “The traded goods sector has had to deal with competition from low cost countries and some have relocated offshore. The lure of lower cost will remain a large incentive for New Zealand companies to relocate and there is still much to be done to reverse this trend however, this decision is a step forward and we welcome that”.

The CMA remains cautious over the future of Buy Kiwi Made. Mr. Walley says that those companies which fall outside of its requirements will start to look for ways to gain access to Government support and lobby to distort the terms once again. Mr. Walley says that clear guidelines need to be established quickly in order to prevent this, along with a clear direction to ensure that the ‘initiatives’ don’t just end up with more jobs in the Government and not much action in the wider economy.

“Buy Kiwi Made thinking supports New Zealand industry, its standards or practice, quality and the local labour force. It is more about consumer attitudes than a marketing tool, especially at a time when New Zealand manufacturers increasingly have to compete with low cost countries. Produce in a low cost country, fine, but don’t try to claim to be Kiwi Made – trying to have it both ways is at best disingenuous. The decision not to allow ‘Buy Kiwi Made’ to become ‘Buy Anywhere Made’ is a step in the right direction”.

ENDS


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