In New Zealand a battle of words is raging over a new ‘Buy Kiwi-Made’ campaign.

designedinnzThe Greens (who lead the campaign) say that ‘New Zealand manufacturers and workers can be assured that only products actually made in New Zealand will be entitled to carry the New Zealand Made labelling, as specified by legislation.’

But some companies, such as Ice Breaker (an iconic Wellington-based clothing company), do not actually make their products in New Zealand. They design their clothing in NZ but manufacture it in Asia.

Fisher & Paykel are also an iconic New Zealand company and go a step further – they manufacture goods close to the market source – goods for the US market are actually manufactured in the US.

This is sensible-business for a far-flung country like New Zealand and supports Green principles by creating and shipping goods locally (and therefore reducing carbon-fuel consumption).

But companies like these (who design in New Zealand – but manufacture overseas) also want to be part of the ‘Buy Kiwi-Made’ campaign.

I can see both points of view, but I think Sue Bradford and the Green Party needs to rethink it’s emphasis on the definition of “Kiwi-Made”.

Afterall, McDonalds burgers are manufactured in New Zealand – so would be likely to qualify for ‘Buy Kiwi-Made’. But the burgers were not designed in New Zealand, and I’m sure most people would not consider them ‘Kiwi’ at all!

One possible solution is flexibility – a simple solution is in the labelling… One label for ‘Designed in NZ’ and one for ‘Manufactured in NZ’ – and possibly a 3rd generic   label for products designed AND manufactured in New Zealand.

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