Tuesday, 29 August 2000 Media Statement
Communications giant Motorola has informed the Government that it will not be locating its next Australasian global software development centre in New Zealand, Associate Minister of Economic Development Pete Hodgson said today.
Mr Hodgson said the Government was naturally disappointed at the decision. However, as a result of its location investigations, Motorola is due to send a high-level team to New Zealand later this month to explore business opportunities with New Zealand companies.
"Motorola is now aware that New Zealand is an attractive test-bed for digital wireless and optical telecommunications," Mr Hodgson said. "There is potential for valuable commercial collaboration with the company in these and other related fields."
Motorola has not yet released details about its chosen site for the software development centre in Australia.
Mr Hodgson said a tremendous amount of work had gone into preparing, presenting and negotiating the New Zealand case. The effort, which began 18 months ago under the previous Government, was led by Investment New Zealand, a division of Trade New Zealand. The Canterbury Development Corporation and New Zealand's Ambassador to Washington, Jim Bolger, had made valuable contributions.
"The partnership approach taken to the Motorola opportunity resulted in a powerful business case for location in New Zealand," Mr Hodgson said. "Motorola was satisfied with the Government’s policy in support of the knowledge economy and with the academic and other infrastructure New Zealand offered."
Mr Hodgson said he understood the decision had been a very close call. Christchurch had been seen by Motorola as the most suitable site in New Zealand on the fundamentals for a software centre operation, but other considerations – including Motorola's existing level of activity in the region – had played a part in the final decision.
Mr Hodgson confirmed that a Government assistance package had been offered to Motorola, complemented by support from Christchurch City. The details of the package could not be disclosed without compromising New Zealand’s position in future such negotiations.