Lower Hutt: Local firm Resene Paints wins $1million business grant

What with all the negative business news around at present in the Hutt Valley it is good to hear that local company Resene Paints has won a $1 million grant from Industrial Research Ltd. In the interview below from TVNZ Business this morning Managing Director Nick Nightingale explains the purpose of their research in finding a renewable resin for use in paints and how this came around after having a “bloody good look”.

More on the background of this story here

Lower Hutt: More redundancies from Mountain Buggy plant

Further evidence that the economy is not as strong as the media is portraying, in fact in the surrounding weeks there have been mixed signs as to where NZ economy is currently at. This announcement comes on top of Unilever another local Petone based manufacturing business making 50 redundancies last week, again unable to compete with offshore wage rates offered by China.

 “Mountain Buggy” a baby buggy manufacturer  will shift manufacturing to China with about 45 jobs to go at its Seaview Lower Hutt plant.

Mountain Buggy was picked up by its rival phil&teds after previous owners Tritec went into receivership in January  (debts of about $22 million).

Phil&teds buggies are designed in Wellington but has them made in China to be sold around the world, hence the move.

Phil&teds owner Campbell Gower told the Dominion Post  it was not possible to keep making Mountain Buggy products in New Zealand and production would shift to China at the beginning of next quarter.

“It was hard for the former owners to deal with the economic equation and it hasn’t been any easier for us,” he said.

The number of staff at the Lower Hutt factory had dropped from 100 in December to 61.

The shift will result in about 45 redundancies as some staff will be shifted to roles at phil&teds or Mountain Buggy’s seat-making business.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little is understandable upset that these workers will not be receiving any redundancy compensation