Hope King starts production at Auckland factory
Electronic components are usually exported from China to New Zealand but an Auckland firm founded by a Chinese-born ex-pat businesswoman is bucking the trend.
The first electronic components have begun rolling off the production lines at Hope King's Avondale factory in Auckland, destined for customers in China.
The company, founded and owned by Wendy Zhao, plans to export $9 million of fibre-optic connectors and components this year, for use in data centres.
It aims to capture 10 per cent of the Chinese market and 70 per cent of the Australian and New Zealand market for the specialist devices by 2017, when it expects to have invested $50m in its plant and in research and development.
Hope King general manager Howard Chen said the company was not particularly concerned by New Zealand's higher labour costs as its 1000 square-metre manufacturing plant was highly automated.
The factory employs 15 staff at present. Chen said Hope King would need to take on more staff if it achieved its growth targets but would not give a specific figure.
Ross Clow, deputy chairman of Auckland Council's economic development committee, said Hope King had made a great contribution to the local economy in terms of exports, tax revenue and employment.