Signs of gloom for NZ factories - survey

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 08:15 12/10/2012

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New orders for manufacturers are dropping away according to a new survey, which the Green Party says makes a mockery of Prime Minister John Key's claim there is no 'crisis' in the sector.

In the second weak report on manufacturing this week, new orders are at their lowest levels since 2009 according to a Business New Zealand survey, which came on the eve of a union-hosted meeting about the alleged crisis in the sector today.

Some Wellington manufacturers say things are tough but demand is steady despite concerns about the high New Zealand dollar.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at US81.7c yesterday, down from a recent peak of almost US83.5c late last month.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the evidence of a crisis in manufacturing kept growing, making a mockery of denials.

"The over-valued New Zealand dollar is making it too hard for manufacturers to compete and the National Government is failing to act," Norman said.

Peter McKee, chief executive of Wellington timber processing and milk drying equipment maker Windsor Engineering, said the company was "quite busy" and working overtime, but he remained cautious about the future.

"At best, things will stay the same," McKee said.

The company, with 75 staff, was busy on drying equipment for Fonterra's Darfield plant expansion in Canterbury, but getting other customers to invest in capital plant and equipment was not easy. Fairfax NZ

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- Taranaki Daily News

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