Advanced Manufacturing

The Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) is an opportunity for business, unions and workers, government, Māori and wider stakeholders to co-create and co-own a plan to accelerate the growth and transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector.

White text on orange background reads: Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan. Four images from advanced manufacturing sectors are beneath the text.
Text on orange background reads co-created by: Business, Unions and workers, Government, Māori and Wider stakeholders. Symbols show a handshake, a worker in a hard hat, the Beehive, a koru and 3 people.

The ITP will provide an overview of Aotearoa New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector and outline a series of actions to accelerate its growth and transformation.

Public consultation launched on 1 June 2022

The 'Draft Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan' was launched for public consultation by the Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Hon Stuart Nash, on 1 June 2022 at the EMEX Conference in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The launch included feature presentations by Steering Group Co-Chairs Brett O’Riley, Rachel Mackintosh and Paul Stocks. Videos of these can be found below.

What is Advanced Manufacturing?

The term “Advanced Manufacturing” is used in the ITP to cover all manufacturing in Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes both primary and non-primary sector manufacturing. The term “advanced” refers to the use of modern technologies, processes and business practices in the manufacturing process rather than whether the final products are high-tech. This Advanced Manufacturing ITP therefore covers the making of products as diverse as computer chips and branded chocolate.

The importance of advanced manufacturing for Aotearoa New Zealand

Advanced manufacturing is vitally important for Aotearoa New Zealand and a major contributor to the economy, jobs and communities.

It is a broad and diverse sector that makes up 10% of the economy ($24.1 billion of GDP)

This table illustrates the contribution of the 7 advanced manufacturing subsectors to New Zealand’s manufacturing GDP:

Graph advanced manufacturing GDP by subsector, 2020 ($millions)

Advanced manufacturing GDP by subsector (2020) ($millions)

This chart summarises the respective growth rates of the 7 advanced manufacturing subsectors over the last 5 years:

Compound annual growth rates for advanced manufacturing subsectors

Compound annual growth rates for advanced manufacturing subsectors (2015 to 2020)

The sector is important for both regions and cities

It employs 10.7% of the workforce (248,800 people) and is the second largest employer of Māori and largest employer of Pasifika.

Map of New Zealand advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing’s share of regional employment (2021)

Advanced manufacturing makes up a significant share of employment in regional New Zealand. For instance, it accounts for 16.8% of the Southland workforce, 16.3% of the Taranaki workforce, 15% of the Marlborough workforce and 13.1% of the Hawke’s Bay workforce.

Map of Auckland advanced manufacturing

Distribution of advanced manufacturing employment in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2020)

Just over half of advanced manufacturing jobs are based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, where the sector accounts for 9.1% of the economy. This map shows that the jobs are concentrated in the industrial areas in South and (to a lesser degree) West Auckland.

Improving the skills and wages in the advanced manufacturing sector through the ITP will have positive impacts on communities throughout regional and urban Aotearoa New Zealand.

The sector is our largest contributor to exports

Advanced manufacturing accounts for 73.5% of goods exports and just over half of total goods and services exports ($44.5 billion).

Manufactured exports by subsector 770px

Manufactured exports by subsector (NZ$ billions, year ended February, 2010 - 2020)

The largest destination markets for non-primary sector manufactured goods are Australia, the United States, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Korea, Singapore, Canada and Germany. In contrast, for primary sector manufactured goods, China is the largest export market.

Leading export destinations for manufactured goods by broad industry group Year ended Feb 2020 770px

Leading export destinations for manufactured goods by broad industry group (2020)

Why we need an Industry Transformation Plan

Advanced Manufacturing has been prioritised for an ITP due its scale and the potential to significantly increase productivity, higher wage jobs and a globally competitive low emissions sector.

2 trends provide an opportunity to accelerate the growth and transformation of the sector over the next 20 years:

  1. Advanced manufacturing is undergoing a fundamental shift through the application of advanced technologies and processes.
  2. More focus than ever is being placed on economic activity that is sustainable, circular and low emissions.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector can adapt and thrive in this changing landscape. Transformation, however, will require the right action because:

  • Currently, the sector has relatively low capital investment in advanced technologies and processes compared to international benchmarks. This correlates with relatively low productivity by international standards.
  • While the annual median wage in advanced manufacturing is 10.1% above the national level more can be done to grow high-skill high-wage jobs.
  • There is significant opportunity to grow investment and adoption of advanced technologies and innovation to boost the advanced manufacturing sector’s productivity. If this is combined with other ITP initiatives it will lead to higher wages.
  • The sector’s transformation will require action to upskill existing workers. There is an opportunity to create high-wage careers in advanced manufacturing, offering great workplace cultures and excellent long-term prospects for a wider diversity of workers.
  • Advanced manufacturing employs a higher proportion of Māori and Pasifika than other industries, and benefits from a multi-ethnic workforce. More can be done however to build diversity and inclusion, including at leadership and ownership levels and by attracting women that make up only 30% of workers.
  • The sector’s future competitiveness must be underwritten by an ambition and actions to create a leading sustainable, circular and net-zero emissions sector.
  • To be globally competitive will require enhanced global connectivity.

Partnership is a driving principle

Work on the Advanced Manufacturing ITP began in July 2020 with engagements with a range of stakeholders throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, including members of a Partnership Group, to understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sector and priorities to accelerate growth and transformation.

Since July 2021, representatives from business, unions, government, Māori and wider stakeholders have participated in a Steering Group and 4 working groups to prepare the draft ITP.

There are 13 representatives from across the sector on the Steering Group which has 3 Co-Chairs:

  • Brett O’Riley (Chief Executive, Employers and Manufacturers Association)
  • Rachel Mackintosh (Vice-President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi and Assistant National Secretary of E tū)
  • Paul Stocks (Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)

There are 44 sector representatives on the 4 Working Groups. These groups have identified key initiatives that would accelerate the growth and transformation of advanced manufacturing.

Māori play an important role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector, that is the second largest employer of Māori and includes 870 Māori-owned businesses. The results of the ITP are intended to help create more high-skilled high-wage work opportunities for Māori as well as support Māori-owned and Māori-led advanced manufacturing businesses.

Effort has been made to include Māori perspectives in developing the draft ITP through the participation of Māori business, Māori workers and Te Puni Kōkiri on the Steering and Working Groups. The intention is for engagement with Māori to widen and deepen to best capture and support the opportunities for Māori in advanced manufacturing.

8 government agencies are also involved: The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Callaghan Innovation; Ministry of Education; Ministry for the Environment; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; New Zealand Trade and Enterprise; Te Puni Kōkiri; and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Steering group and working groups

Priorities and vision for transformation

The following 6 key priorities to drive growth and transformation of the advanced manufacturing sector have been identified:

  1. improving the understanding and perceptions of advanced manufacturing
  2. increasing investment in advanced technologies and processes to lift productivity and wages
  3. making innovation, R&D and science work for advanced manufacturing
  4. attracting and developing a diverse high-skilled and high-wage workforce
  5. creating a leading sustainable circular net-zero emissions sector
  6. enhancing global connectivity and opportunities.

The Draft ITP will also identify specific initiatives to drive transformation. These will be included in a Draft Action Plan along with measurable implementation actions over 1 to 3 years.

Collectively, these priorities and actions aim to achieve the sector’s long-term vision of:

Summary of the public consultation process

Consultation on the 'Draft Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan' was formally open for 6 weeks from 1 June to 13 July (noting that the fono took place and the hui is to take place beyond this date). Public consultation involved:

  • 12 in-person regional workshops from Whangarei to Invercargill with 240 participants to test and refine the Action Plan (7-17 June).
  • 13 advanced manufacturing factory site visits to discuss the Draft ITP (7-17 June).
  • 6 online thematic workshops to test and refine the 6 ITP priority areas with 215 participants (22 June to 7 July).
  • 60 written submissions
  • Fono on 25 July
  • Hui on 16 August.

Regional workshops

Regional workshops were held in the following locations and had 240 participants:

Location Date Participants
Whangarei 7 June 2022 10
Auckland – Henderson 8 June 2022 18
Auckland – East Tamaki 8 June 2022 31
Hamilton 9 June 2022 14
Tauranga 10 June 2022 11
New Plymouth 21 June 2022 24
Napier 13 June 2022 14
Wellington 14 June 2022 25
Nelson 20 June 2022 11
Christchurch 15 June 2022 51
Dunedin 16 June 2022 18
Invercargill 17 June 2022 13
Total 240

Online thematic webinars

Recordings of the online thematic webinars can be viewed via the following links. There were 215 participants across the 6 sessions:

Webinar recording Date Participants
Watch: Increasing investment in advanced technologies and processes to lift productivity and wages(external link) — Vimeo 22 June 2022 31
Watch: Making innovation, R&D and science work for advanced manufacturing(external link) — Vimeo 29 June 2022 41
Watch: Attracting and developing a diverse high-skilled high-wage workforce(external link) — Vimeo 30 June 2022 36
Watch: Creating a leading sustainable circular net-zero emissions sector(external link) — Vimeo 5 July 2022 54
Watch: Enhancing global connectivity and opportunities(external link) — Vimeo 6 July 2022 26
Watch: Improving perceptions of advanced manufacturing(external link) — Vimeo 7 July 2022 27
Total   215

Workers’ engagement

The Advanced Manufacturing ITP Steering and Working Groups included a strong worker voice, involving experienced workplace union delegates and their union representatives. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions’ submission on the Advanced Manufacturing ITP captures extensive engagement carried out with worker representatives and highlights the ongoing engagement with key unions with an active stake in advanced manufacturing to ensure the Advanced Manufacturing ITP is addressing the long-term interests of working people.

Māori hui

Māori already play an important role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sector. The sector is the second-largest Māori employer (41,900 workers representing 12.7% of the Māori workforce). The 870 Māori-owned manufacturing businesses have the third-highest average operating margin of all Māori-owned businesses.

The ITP aims to identify opportunities for Māori workers, businesses, rangatahi and communities through the transformation of advanced manufacturing and to take steps to create more high-skilled and high-wage work opportunities for Māori and support Māori-owned and Māori-led advanced manufacturing businesses.

To date, Māori perspectives have been provided by Māori businesses, Māori workers and members of Te Puni Kōkiri across the ITP Steering and Working Groups. However, the impact ITP actions will have for Māori depends on how well the initiatives are targeted and delivered and continuing tāngata whenua input is essential.

A dedicated hui is planned for Tuesday 16 August to further explore the opportunities for Māori in the transformation of advanced manufacturing including what successful ITP actions, and implementation with strong participation from Māori looks like.

Details for the hui are as follows

  • When: 10am – 12pm, Tuesday 16 August 2022. Lunch will be provided.
  • Where: Te Puni Kōkiri, 9 Ronwood Ave Manukau City, Tamaki Makaurau Auckland

If you would like to attend this hui please RSVP to info@advancedmanufacturing.nz by 9 August and include any dietary requirements if you would like to join in person. Your RSVP is required if attending in person please for catering purposes and venue capacity.

Pasifika fono

Pasifika input is critical on the Draft ITP as the advanced manufacturing sector is the largest Pasifika employer (20,900 workers representing 15% of the Pasifika workforce). There are also approximately 130 Pasifika-owned advanced manufacturing businesses.

A dedicated Pasifika fono was held on Monday 25 July at Te Oro in Glen Innes, Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. The purpose of the fono was to identify opportunities and refine actions for Pasifika workers, businesses and communities through transformation of the advanced manufacturing sector. 46 people attended from businesses, education providers, workers, union representatives, rangatahi and government agencies related to the advanced manufacturing sector.

Insights from this fono will form the basis for ongoing discussions with the Steering Group regarding Pasifika perspectives and involvement in the ITP finalisation and implementation.

Written submission

Written submissions on the ITP via info@advancedmanufacturing.nz have formally closed.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, some written submissions sent by email prior to Friday, 17 June will not have been received. We kindly ask you to resubmit any emails you may have sent before this date.

Advanced Manufacturing Draft Industry Transformation Plan document

White text on orange background reads "Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan". Underneath text are 9 photos showing different sectors of advanced manufacturing.
Last updated: 09 August 2022