Episode 3 - Manufacturing
About the show
New Zealand’s first industry was flax rope, essential in the 1800’s for sailing ships plying the Pacific and Tasman and further afield. This gave Maori economic power and enabled them to purchase equipment to establish flour mills; European settlers provided a ready market for this second product.
In mining towns beer was an early staple but it wasn’t until the 1880s and the beginning of a long era of government protectionism that other industries sparked up. From there industries grew to support each other – with the birth of rail and mass transportation came an army of steam trains, manufactured at Dunedin’s famous Hillside shop. Kiwi brands like Hudsons gave rise to the iconic Cookie Bear, manufacturers like Bendix Hallenstein offered fair working hours, and Fisher and Paykel invented clever designs which were adopted worldwide.
As the free market took over, Kiwi manufacturers looked to the future, with the past as inspiration. Today we manufacture high-quality, luxury goods, often by hand, and design genius solutions for everything from washing machines to space travel.