Christchurch manufacturers visit

I had a big day in Christchurch yesterday, meeting with a number of small business organisations and manufacturers.

First up was a meeting at Business Canterbury with Ilam MP Hamish Campbell to talk to a group of manufacturers about what we can do to support the sector.

This meeting is part of my push to engage more with small business owners and manufacturers to learn about the issues they are facing and how we as a Government can help them become more productive and competitive.

For there, we called into Statistics NZ to meet the Christchurch team, then on to Harris Homes Fires, who manufacture low-emission fireplaces. Six generations of the family have run the business since it was established in 1887. They are currently looking at expanding into overseas markets and were keen to talk about the challenges in that area.

From there, we met the team from the Intellectual Property Office NZ (IPONZ) at Plant & Food Research, Lincoln University, who test plant varieties as a prelude to issuing patents, and finally we called into the Christchurch Engine Centre, the Air New Zealand Pratt & Whitney joint venture engine maintenance centre at Christchurch International Airport, where Pratt & Whitney V2500 engines are repaired, overhauled and refurbished.

The centre has some of New Zealand’s most sophisticated manufacturing technologies in order to maintain and repair jet engines.