Jim pointed me to this article which discusses that fairly vitriolic attack that John Walley from the Canterbury Manufacturers Association made against Business New Zealand and the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce among others.

The gist of the attack centred around the supposition by Walley that the other business groups, welcoming as they do retailers, banks and importers, are in some way ripping off there domestically manufacturing members. The premise goes (I assume) that if these business groups were really trying to help their members (or at least the domestically manufacturing ones anyway) they would bar membership from anyone who wasn’t pure white in regards to country of origin (or I assume lending institution status).

It makes me want to cry, it really does – bear in mind when reading why, that I own a domestically manufacturing business – so Walley’s comments should make me, of all people, happy;

  • Manufacturing has very little credibility in this country- comments like this rip the remaining credibility to shreds – it’s childish and unnecessary in the extreme
  •  CECC and BizNZ are, by definition, broad stroke business support agencies – they cannot, and should not favour one section of their constituents over another
  • The importers and the banks are not (as far as I am aware) an cahoots with the single aim of crushing domestic manufacturing

The way I see it, the CMA is largely an impotent old boys club that, in an attempt to salvage some profile, launches attacks like this. All they really do is hasten their own demise. I’m truly surprised that Phil O’Reilly from BizNZ and Pete Townsend from CECC even replied to the attacks.

Phil and Pete – rest assured that we don’t all agree with John’s comments.

Rest of NZ – Rest assured that local manufacturing is still viable – Cactus has been doing it now for 15 years and will continue for another 15 if I have my way. Not on handouts and sympathy but on differentiation, design and lean manufacturing.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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