Chairman's Invitation to Join Metals NZ : Metals NZ

By: Metals Nz  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Metals

Metals New Zealand Requires Your Support to Support Our Industry

As everyone involved in the metals industry knows, we are a significant contributor to the economy. The GDP contribution of basic metal product manufacturing alone was around $2.6 billion annually based on the latest figures available from 2007. The other contributions of our industry are added into other product groups such as in agriculture, food processing and machinery and equipment manufacture and are hard to establish but indicate GDP contributions of well over $10 billion. The total number of people working in 2010 in the statistical groups of primary metal, metal product manufacturing and fabricated metal product manufacturing was over 26,000, with exported metals-based manufactured products worth $2.3 billion – or 5.5% of New Zealand’s total exports.

But with the development of global market forces - and the intense competition that comes with it - we’re suffering from a lack of profile and influence. Let me give you a few examples of where we’re missing out:
• We’re not on the radar of school students who are about to embark on their tertiary education or take up an apprenticeship;
• Skilled people look off-shore for jobs before they look here;
• Cheaper and inferior imported products get a look at before our own;
• Big public works contracts are awarded to overseas players rather than Kiwi ones;
• Competing interests have the ear of Government officials when it comes to influencing policy and funding decisions;
• We’re often considered to be a dirty industry with a poor environmental record;
• And we are not growing exports of high-value products as fast as we would like.

When you add the weak economy and depressed construction and manufacturing sectors to these examples, you’ve got an industry facing some difficult times. Business confidence is very low and economists are saying things may well get worse before they start to get better.

The time has come to draw a line in the sand, get ourselves organised and do something about it. If we want to tip the playing field back in our favour and overcome some of the issues I’ve just mentioned, we need to have a united voice.

After many years in the making, at the recent Metals NZ Industry Conference in April this year, Metals New Zealand Incorporated was formed as a pan-industry body to represent all companies and groups involved in the metals industry. Whilst our vision is to position the industry to be a prosperous, vibrant, sustainable and socially responsible contributor to the New Zealand economy, our immediate goals are to:
• Establish a close liaison with Government to ensure we can gain access to Minister and Government Departments to ensure our voice is heard.
• Lobby Government to ensure local industry gets a fair share of local projects and to start the process for the Government, local bodies, large New Zealand corporations, etc., to adopt a “ New Zealand Industry Participation Plan”.
• Engage with other parties who can assist us to push the adoption of the above plan.
• Ensure the Metals Industry’s point of view is well represented in the rebuilding of Christchurch.

To achieve this, we require the collective participation and support of not just the sector group organisations, but also you, our members. For without your financial support, Metals NZ will not be able to meet its undertakings to the metals industry. At this stage, as a member of your sector organisation (be it HERA, SCNZ, NASH, NZSSDA, LAMNZ, MRM, GANZ, TiDA or CTNZ), you are automatically an Affiliate Member of Metals NZ for which there isn’t any charge

But we are asking that you actually become a member in your own right for a low annual membership fee starting from $150. For more info on Metals NZ, please visit our web site . The home page includes a promotional video of our industry which outlines the strength and importance of our sector and why our industry needs improved sector advocacy.

The information in this article was current at 27 Mar 2012

Keywords: Metals

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