Taranaki has a long and successful history of innovation in the manufacturing sector, reflecting both the main industries of the time and the pioneering spirit of the locals.

In the early days manufacturing was mainly focussed on supporting two key industries - dairy and oil. Today, the 570 plus organisations in Taranaki’s manufacturing sector have expanded their offerings to include everything from high tech hospital beds and breast and chest protection garments through to engineered wood, stainless steel and fibreglass products.

Some are small, almost artisan producers, involving just one or two people and others are large-scale manufacturing firms generally employing more extensive production processes and teams of people. While scale varies, so too do the customers. Some organisations serve a local audience, while others have a national and international customer base. Many are niche producers and put Taranaki on the map with their innovative and often award-winning products.

Taranaki ranks strongly amongst the nation’s manufacturing regions. Taranaki’s manufacturing businesses collectively employ 8,670 people – around 17% of Taranaki’s total employment base and comprises 11% of our region’s GDP.

The number of people employed in manufacturing in Taranaki is comparatively very high for the size of our region – in fact Taranaki’s percentage in the industry is the second highest of any region in New Zealand. More than half of our people involved in manufacturing work in food product manufacturing, again one of the highest percentages in the country.

Manufacturing remains essential to modern life not only due to food production, but also material objects - the buildings we live in, clothes we wear and much more have their origins in the manufacturing sector.

As this demand for manufactured good remains high and with the sector’s strong research and development focus, Taranaki’s track record of innovation and success in the manufacturing sector is set to continue strongly into the future.