‘New Zealand Made’ means New Zealand-made: how hard is that?
I don’t normally repost press releases here, but today’s big story here—in terms of fashion—touches on several areas that I would write on. Therefore, I was compelled to issue a media statement, which follows.
Lucire publisher takes issue with changes to New Zealand Made
Wellington, August 12 (JY&A Media) Lucire, one of the few locally owned fashion magazines, and the only one translated and published in Europe, has urged Sue Bradford and the New Zealand Green Party to keep the late Rod Donald’s vision of a New Zealand Made campaign intact.
Jack Yan, the magazine’s publisher, has taken the opposite view to Icebreaker CEO Jeremy Moon, who believes that the campaign should be extended to New Zealand-designed but foreign-made products.
‘With respect, Mr Moon probably is not aware of the late Rod Donald’s wish that the New Zealand Made campaign be used to boost local jobs,’ he says.
‘I have been an advocate of globalization, if done morally. I know Icebreaker has chosen ethical manufacturers. I applaud Jeremy. But that is not the issue here.
‘Mr Donald was concerned by how globalization did not always help the host nation, and how Kiwi jobs were being farmed off abroad.
‘The textiles’ industry has been particularly hard hit of late, and Mr Donald knew this.
‘To turn something that Mr Donald believed in into a pro-globalization campaign would be a mockery,’ he says.
Mr Yan says that the textiles’ sector’s exports ‘plateaued’ in 2004 and appeared to continue declining, based on available ﬁgures. He puts the blame on outsourcing.
‘There are clever ways of outsourcing, and there are daft ways. The clever way is to outsource those elements of production that are simple, and to retain a local production base for more complex or innovative ones. The trick is to innovate enough so that both countries beneﬁt,’ he explains.
‘However, a lot of companies outsource, without realizing that they are giving away trade secrets to Red Chinese companies, among others,’ he says. ‘New Balance has already been a victim of a Red Chinese contractor reverse-engineering, and has spent millions in lawsuits. I do not think New Zealand companies are well equipped enough to ﬁght this threat.’
Earlier this year, he proposed that a textiles’ sub-brand be created to endorse the sector, separate from the New Zealand Made campaign, to protect local jobs.
‘I did not want to suggest anything that diluted Rod Donald’s memory. Nor did I want to suggest anything that insulted those New Zealanders who were pushing for local manufacture. Those are the Kiwis taking the hard way out, and they need this country’s support,’ he says.
Mr Yan says he is not a Green Party supporter, though he has pushed for strong ecological and environmental aims with Lucire and his work at the Medinge Group, a Swedish think-tank on branding meeting this month. He was also one of the ﬁrst people in New Zealand to write about place branding, as CEO of JY&A Consulting and a leading brand consultant.
‘I am aware that what companies like Icebreaker do, not to mention the work done by many of my friends in the fashion industry. They bring in export dollars and create high-value, intellectual capital-based jobs here.
‘But there is room for something separate from New Zealand Made to be created in these situations.’
Mr Yan pointed to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s New Zealand, New Thinking campaign as a sign of what could be done, but speciﬁcally for the fashion and textiles’ sectors.
I have to be politically correct in these, which is the only annoying thing. I don’t think a great deal of some of these New Zealand branding campaigns, because history has shown them to be ill-considered. So notice I was conditional enough. Some days, I dislike the lack of transparency in press releases—including my own.
To the Greens, don’t give in to Labour Party pressure or to any of its capitalist friends. If you have a policy, stick to it. It will mean more in the long run, whether others or I agree with it or not.
Del.icio.us tags: globalization New Zealand manufacturing outsourcing fashion industry Posted by Jack Yan, 13:36
I read with interest your articles on branding and globalisation.
I believe that the main issue is smart outsourcing and in particular, the fact that now we have more of a "NZ MADE, FOREIGN OWNED" style. This is somewhat a more hidden matter away from the public eyes. I believe NZ losses out way more from the above.
# posted by Anonymous: 12/18/2006 08:49:00 AM
Thank you, Anonymous. I only just found your comment linked to this post (there’s no way of telling in Blogger). I quite agree: even when we buy Just Juice we are helping the Danone group of France.Post a Comment
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