Certification of the Pacific Aerospace 750AL
Hon Jim Anderton
Minister of Economic Development
Certification of the Pacific Aerospace Corporation 750AL
4.15PM Wednesday, 20 August 2003
One of the main uses of this plane is for parachute jumping.
- There is an old political joke about parachutes.
- There was an MP from each party aboard a plane that ran out gas, and they looked around and found only one parachute.
- The MP who had once been a finance minister opened a market and asked how much each MP would pay for the parachute.
- The MP who had been a health minister warned everyone that parachuting could be dangerous.
- The New Zealand First MP wouldn't use the parachute because it was made in Japan.
- The Act MP refused the parachute because he thought something heavier would be faster.
- The Green MP refused the parachute because she didn't want to interfere with the pure air.
- The Labour MP cut the parachute into equal sized pieces for everyone.
- The National MP took the parachute and told everyone else to work hard and not expect handouts.
- And Jim Anderton refused the parachute - because he's survived jumps like this before.
The new Pacific Aerospace plane is a remarkable achievement.
- When I talk to New Zealanders about our innovative companies, most people are amazed at what is being done around New Zealand.
Few New Zealanders believe there is a company building aeroplanes for export here in Hamilton.
- Yet just about all of us know about the Fletcher top-dresser, the plane that this company started out with nearly fifty years ago.
The Fletcher was a uniquely New Zealand symbol.
- It represented both ruggedness, and our pastoral heritage, and therefore it was a symbol of New Zealand.
Pacific Aerospace is like another important Waikato exporter - Gallagher fencing.
- Both are high-value exporting companies that began business with products made possible because of New Zealand's comparative advantage.
The new plane is another example of building on what we do best.
- It is designed for a niche - rugged terrain and adventure-based operations.
It is likely to be exported around the world.
- It shows that New Zealand's particular advantages can help us to prosper.
- We can produce high quality goods created from our advantages, and sell them to the world.
I am proud to say that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise - and its predecessor organisations - have been working alongside this company for four years.
- They have been helping Pacific Aerospace to build on its own success.
There is a lot of criticism of that.
- Before I became Minister of Economic Development, governments were hands off.
- There are still plenty of people who say we should not do anything for business.
- They should consider this company.
Pacific Aerospace competes against companies that receive direct government subsidies.
- We can't compete with the subsidies other countries can offer.
- But we can work together to create advantage.
Examples include the work New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has done to introduce Pacific Aerospace to new markets.
- It helped to introduce Pacific Aerospace to international companies like Bell Helicopter and New Piper, so that it might begin making components for them.
- More recently New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has helped the company develop a growth strategy, and complete certification for this aeroplane.
I hope you will hear a lot about the government working with companies and industries.
- We won't always get it right.
- If there weren't some mistakes, we wouldn't be trying hard enough.
- It may even be possible that we haven't been aggressive enough in helping companies, because we are cautious about making a mistake.
- New Zealand needs to accept some risk - the only way to avoid having a few failures is to avoid doing anything.
- New Zealand needs to do more, not less.
We must do more because we simply don't have enough companies exporting complex, high value goods.
- We are the lowest exporter of complex manufactured products in the developed world.
- We import five times more of those products than we export.
- The next lowest in the OECD is Greece - and it imports three times as much as it exports.
To put into perspective what we need to look for, we need only think of Nokia.
- Nokia used to be a forestry company.
- Logs are a commodity, and at the moment they earn $70 per cubic metre.
- Turn those logs into pre-built homes or furniture and they will earn thirty times as much - $3000 per cubic metre.
- But Nokia became a manufacturer of cellphone handsets.
- You can fit seven hundred of Nokia's thousand dollar phones in a cubic metre
- $700,000, or $70??
New Zealand won't rejoin the first rank of nations by selling more logs
- We need to sell more valuable products.
- The weight of exports from the United States in the year 2000 was the same as it was in 1900.
- But the value of those exports had increased many hundreds of times.
Pacific Aerospace is an impressive high growth company.
- Its export success is an example of the manufacturing success New Zealand needs to foster.
- In May last year Pacific Aerospace was awarded a Trade New Zealand Export Award for outstanding export achievement
- It has taken an aircraft design and enhanced it, and thereby proven New Zealand is up there in terms of aerospace technology.
We have some disadvantages in New Zealand, but we have some unique advantages too.
- Lord Rutherford said "we don't have much money, so we have to think.'
Almost every day around New Zealand I see examples of New Zealand innovation.
- Fisher and Paykel - with the dishwasher drawer;
- CWF Hamilton - the marine jet engine;
- Formway's LIFE chair.
Innovation is crucial.
- It unlocks business success and therefore opportunities for young New Zealanders.
- Successful businesses create jobs and reduce the need for social services
- When New Zealand companies are successful at selling planes overseas - or fencing products, or washing machines, jet-boats or software, films or furniture - it is good for everyone.
This plane will soar high into skies the world over.
- We need to set our ambition for New Zealand for the same skies.
- We need to aim to push our country up into the first rank of nations.
- We need to take every New Zealander with us as we travel there.
No time is more important than now.
- The possibilities stretching before us offer hope for the future of New Zealand.
Martin Luther King Jr once told us:
- "We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now, in the unfolding of life and history. There is such a thing as being too late."
It is not yet too late for New Zealand, but our time for a clear vision, and hard work to realise it, is now.
The certification of this aeroplane - and all that means for jobs and opportunities and export earnings for this company and your region is welcome.
Congratulations and best wishes.