18 Mar 2024

Crafting a Plan to PowerUP NZ Manufacturing

Alongside business, our new Minister for Manufacturing Andrew Bayly is working on a plan to powerUP manufacturing and strengthen NZ’s manufacturing network to support accelerated adoption of new technology, processes and strategies that enable more productive, sustainable and globally competitive manufacturing. 

 

The inaugural Manufacturing Productivity Advisory Group (MPAG) meeting

 

On Friday 9th February Minister for Manufacturing Andrew Bayly hosted an industry workshop with manufacturing leaders from across New Zealand.   The team assembled is definitely capable of working for the bigger picture and delivering real change.  Representing a diverse range of regions, sectors and demographics, business leaders addressed the following issues:

 

·       Why is manufacturing important to New Zealand’s future – why are we all here?

 

·       Who are the manufacturers and what is NZ’s current situation on a global scale?

·       What are barriers (weaknesses & threats) and opportunities (strengths & opportunities)?

·       What are the high impact low resource opportunities we can do right now that will shift the dial across Investment, Innovation, Talent and Perceptions?

The meeting was facilitated by Sarah Ramsay – CEO & co-owner, United Machinists, Advanced Manufacturing Aotearoa Council Chair, and Board Member, and Board Member - SOREC (Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective).  AMA’s role was to co-ordinate the MPAG meeting.

 

Why is manufacturing important to NZ?

 

In summary: The MPAG are a purpose driven group on a mission to improve productivity in New Zealand. We KNOW that manufacturing process intensification drives higher value production, making manufacturing in NZ sustainable and creating better outcomes for employees.

 

‘Advancing Manufacturing’ - Goal

 

Let’s move up the continuum – attendees in the first workshop identified that the ‘current state’ of advanced manufacturing is well behind what is required to ‘manufacture the future’. The aim of the 2nd workshop will be to develop a plan that moves us to Milestone 1 and to start thinking about what the ‘future state’ looks like.

We are working within a very tight timeframe and budget environment.  We all have a really strong desire to build out a compelling long-term vision for NZ manufacturing – some fantastic ideas and reports to this effect have been shared directly with MBIE, AMA, and Sarah Ramsay directly. But right now, if we want to be on the start-line we’ve got to submit a compelling, pragmatic plan over the next 12 months that will build a foundation for developing the long-term vision.

 

Developing the 2024 plan

 

Manufacturing is not a sector on its own, but a function across all of NZ’s critical export sectors – as such it needs to be weaved across Government policy. Government budget is also under pressure. So, the immediate priorities are focused on quick and pragmatic wins – what can be leveraged, reallocated and amplified to deliver the outcomes, rather than reinventing the wheel.

The FY25 plan is simply about getting some runs on the board. If we can work together to demonstrate the value and impact of manufacturing to wider Government, then we will have much greater impact on big budget decisions such as accelerated depreciation, curriculum and innovation funding in future.

Members of the MPAG and other industry and Government experts were split into four planning groups – Investment, Innovation, Talent and Perceptions.  The planning groups worked collaboratively to reach consensus on initial outcomes from the 9th February meeting.

A business representative was nominated to present at the 15th March meeting on behalf of their respective Group.   

 

The 2nd Manufacturing Productivity Advisory Group meeting

 

On Friday 15th March, Industry presented to the Minister for Manufacturing Andrew Bayly the top FY25 priorities across four workstreams ‘perceptions, investment, process innovation, talent’ for discussion and prioritising.    The outcomes of the meeting will be presented over the next few weeks.   

We all have a really strong desire to build out a compelling long-term vision for NZ manufacturing, but committed to contributing towards a compelling business case and pragmatic plan over the next 12 months that will build a foundation for developing the long-term vision.

 

The 3rd Manufacturing Productivity Advisory Group meeting

 

A date will be confirmed for the 3rd meeting where the pathway to the bigger strategy will be discussed.   

We will share updates as they become available.

 

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