The Manufacturing Sector Report 2018 provides a comprehensive picture of New Zealand’s total manufacturing sector, bringing together key facts and figures from Statistics New Zealand, commentary and insights from interviews with 30 industry stakeholders, as well as findings from other research. It focuses on a number of topics including contribution to GDP, employment, labour market and skills, as well as performance in productivity, innovation and exports.

Key themes, trends and challenges for the manufacturing sector are highlighted in the report, including:

- The increasing shift beyond commodities to value-added goods, differentiated through innovation, quality, brand, service and more.

- The ongoing issue of low labour productivity growth in the New Zealand manufacturing sector.

- The negative impact of the Global Financial Crisis on overall manufacturing output, employment and firm numbers and subsequent recovery; over the last five years manufacturing has returned to growth, but the sector has yet to recover to pre-GFC levels.

- Manufacturers require a high number of skilled tradespeople and they are struggling to fill vacancies with New Zealand talent, and are instead increasingly turning to overseas talent.

- Changing global market dynamics have resulted in increased competition for local firms and in outsourcing of much manufacturing. They have also increased opportunities for local firms to target valuable niches in global production networks.

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