Technology

Manufacturing’s Industry Transformation Plan enters consultation phase

June, 2022

By: Catherine Lye

Head of Advanced Manufacturing & Export Communities, EMA

The Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) launched in early June 2022 is currently working its way around the country for consultation on what the future looks like for this critical sector of the New Zealand economy.

There is a misperception that manufacturing is a possible “sunset industry”, but that view overlooks just how technologically advanced manufacturing has become, and how much more can be gained through the greater use of technology in the sector.

There will always be a place for the small, bespoke manufacturer that New Zealand is so good at developing, bit there is also a future of major productivity gains and international competitiveness from the wider adoption and ongoing development of technology in the sector.

The Advanced Manufacturing ITP is designed to fast track the growth and transformation of New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector. The sector employs 10.7 per cent of the New Zealand workforce (248,400 people), with just over half of advanced manufacturing jobs based in Auckland. The sector makes up 9.1 per cent of the Auckland region’s economy.

Manufacturing is 10 per cent of current GDP ($24.1 billion) but it has the potential to do much more, and the ITP is designed to help unlock that potential.  To achieve this transformation, business, unions, Government, Māori, and wider stakeholders have developed a draft plan for that future.

The draft ITP outlines a series of initiatives and actions with the aim of:

  • Increasing investment in advanced technologies and processes to lift productivity and wages
  • Making innovation, R&D, and science work for advanced manufacturing
  • Attracting and developing a diverse high-skilled, high-wage workforce
  • Creating a leading, sustainable, circular, net-zero emissions sector
  • Enhancing global connectivity and opportunities
  • Improving perceptions of advanced manufacturing.

All Kiwi manufacturers and other interested people are invited to comment on the plan, with feedback on these initiatives being sought including their prioritisation and any additional initiatives that will contribute to a thriving, advanced manufacturing sector in New Zealand

Public consultation on the plan runs from early June to mid-July with thematic virtual workshops and a series of regional workshops across the country.

New Zealand is not the only country looking to grow the advanced manufacturing sector to achieve a more productive, high-wage, sustainable and inclusive economy, and we cannot afford to be left behind.

The plan aims to create a thriving New Zealand advanced manufacturing sector with world-class creators and innovators delivering quality products, sustainable solutions, and intergenerational wealth and wellbeing.

Please click here for more information.

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