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Build New Navy Ships in NZ urge Manufacturers

MEDIA RELEASE

3 March 2003 Available for immediate use


Build New Navy Ships in NZ urge Canterbury Manufacturers

Three of the six tenderers for the navy’s new ships are willing to provide work to New Zealand companies. The Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association sees the project, code-named Project Protector, as a time for the government to act on its oft-spoken support for industry.

“Project Protector is tremendous opportunity for NZ industry,” said John Walley, Chief Executive. “We have the skills learned in the Anzac ships project and in the superyacht industry where we are the fifth largest player. There is no reason why we should not be a major player in the growing patrol boat market as well.”

Government has indicated that because of trade agreements Australia and Singapore will be considered as local. This diplomatic correctness is a nonsense - we have to learn to play the game of capturing New Zealand dollars in New Zealand. “This makes sound economic sense,” said Mr Walley. “Of the $500m set aside for the project about $360m would be returned directly through taxes. This cannot happen if the ships are built off-shore.”

Project Protector could provide significant long term benefits to Canterbury businesses.

“We have the capability to provide engineering systems such as cranes, jet propulsion units, ship’s stabilizers and so on as well as electrical systems and accommodation, In short, a great deal of what goes in the hull or above deck,” said Mr Walley. “The Anzac ships project delivered over $80m of work to Canterbury and many of the firms involved have gone on to other export projects as a result of this experience. There is an opportunity for similar benefits to flow from Project Protector provided the project’s potential is realized. The long term economic gain will be considerable.”


ENDS

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