14 oCTOBER | 9:30am-12:30PM




The Honorable Grant Robertson opened our first ever Manufacturers and Technology Forum at this year’s Wellington Business Expo, where local manufacturing took centre stage.

This event was run in partnership with WellingtonNZ. See photos from the event, below.

Wellington and specifically the Hutt Valley is well known for its strong manufacturing history and capabilities. The breadth and talent of our hi-tech manufacturing companies across the Wellington region is something we can all take pride in.

The Covid crisis challenged us and our manufacturing base proved its ability to adapt quickly to a changing environment. During the Level 4 Lockdown this year, many of our local manufacturers changed their production overnight to turn their capabilities to health-related products to meet local demand.

With supply chains disrupted and the continuing challenges of a world impacted by Covid, the role our manufacturers will need to play in rebuilding our economy in this new era is vital.

Right now there is huge opportunity for local manufacturers due to Covid, and in areas we have not yet considered, to work together to develop new products that we may need for local, national and even international markets.

This needs further exploration and we need to harness these skills and resources for the new economy and our longer term future. Moreso, we need to harness the local expertise and the potential that exists and rewrite our economic future with manufacturing underpinning this.

Our Manufacturers and Technology Forum featured a panel of local manufacturers, including Martin Simpson from Fraser Engineering, Sir Neville Jordan from Endeavour Capital, Richard Latta from Leda Extrusions and Pikes Plastics, Derek Bradley from Aurora44 and Terry Carter from NZ Tube Mills. These people are locally and nationally recognised manufacturing experts who shared their ideas on the role of manufacturing in a Covid-era economy. The panel presented ideas and opportunities the manufacturing sector can offer to the recovery and highlighted the support and recognition this sector needs from government. Open discussion and networking followed the event.

Local manufacturing and technology provides tremendous value going forward. This forum was a fabulous opportunity to bring this level of expertise together in one place to give our manufacturers a really loud voice into government and show the strength of our manufacturing community.

We have a strong, talented, innovative manufacturing sector that is very much alive and productive, which can adapt quickly to develop new products that we may need for local, national and international markets. There is this huge opportunity for manufacturers due to Covid, and in areas we have never considered.

The Honorable Grant Robertson attended the forum to personally hear from our local manufacturing sector and the role it can play in our new economy. On completion of the forum, The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce is working to produce a report that will be distributed into government to provide a loud voice for our vibrant and diverse manufacturing sector.

We want government to understand it needs to support this sector, as part of Covid recovery and economic recovery. It is not only industries most obviously damaged by Covid, like international tourism, that need support. Manufacturing and technology industries are pivotal to our recovery and our future and they also need government support.

Thank you to the panel for sharing your wisdom and experience with us those who joine this important discussion at our first ever Manufacturers and Technology Forum.

Helen Down, CEO, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce