Kiwi rockets are taking to the skies. Kiwi yachts rule the waves. Long-known for a history of ‘Kiwi ingenuity’, New Zealand has carved a reputation for high-tech design and manufacturing with its science and technical expertise, engineering skills, and innovations in metal, plastics, composites, and new materials.

New Zealand manufacturing is making strides across a range of sectors, including: aviation, marine, space, energy, healthcare, industrial equipment, and the food, beverage and bio-processing technology sectors. Pioneering research in quantum physics, photonics and advanced materials underpin an industry that excels internationally, from satellite launches to superyacht construction.


Sector Highlights

Innovation infrastructure

Research-focused organisations drive New Zealand’s high-value manufacturing and design successes, including New Zealand’s eight universities and seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs). Key players include; Callaghan Innovation, a government agency supporting hi-tech businesses in New Zealand across every sector.
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About 300 researchers, engineers, scientists, technologists, designers, entrepreneurs, and advisors deliver assistance from product development to technology incubators and R&D grants.

Specialist knowledge centres include:
The Dodd-Walls Centre (DWC) for Photonic and Quantum technologies
The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
The Innovative Manufacturing and Materials Programme
The Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA)



New Zealand is a nautical nation, renowned internationally for building superyachts and commercial vessels, to winning America's Cup challenges, and everything in between. The University of Auckland’s University Yacht Research Unit carries out more wind tunnel testing of yacht sails than any other laboratory in the world.
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Its graduates are prominent internationally in the areas of mast, sail and hull design.

New Zealand’s marine ingenuity was prominent in Emirates Team New Zealand’s victory in the 2017 America's Cup: its revolutionary ‘cyclor’ grinding system comprised four stationary cycling stations, utilising leg power instead of the traditional arm power.

“New Zealand is a world leader in yacht research and design. At the University of Auckland we have tested hundreds of sail designs, and contributed to knowledge on sail aerodynamics in many ways, particularly through our publications in journals and at conferences.” - Professor Richard Flay, Director, Yacht Research Unit, University of Auckland



New Zealand’s location and rugged topography meant New Zealanders were quick to pioneer the use of aviation in agriculture, forestry, horticulture and tourism. Strengths in design and new technology have seen it excel in light aircraft design and manufacture, aircraft interiors, and aircraft parts.
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New Zealand also boasts knowledge in airline operations, airport infrastructure, maintenance, training and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operation. New Zealand-developed products and services are exported to more than 100 countries on all continents including Antarctica. The country’s skilled test pilots and aircraft technicians are now trialling the world’s first self-piloted electric air taxi.

“New Zealand is probably one of the most developed countries for flying. New Zealand has a world-leading air traffic management system. We have high-level aircraft manufacturing companies, and some of the best training organisations. Technology is changing a lot and New Zealand is in front of what's happening.” Ian Andrews, President of AOPANZ



New Zealand is the 11th country to successfully send a rocket into orbit. Rocket Lab, founded by New Zealander Peter Beck in 2006, aims to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit.
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Clear skies, relatively low levels of air traffic, plus a large selection of launch angles (azimuths) for rocket launches are making this a reality, as is a growing network of talent, from engineers and technologists.

The Centre for Space Science and Technology is increasing New Zealand’s satellite design and manufacturing capability and its space science, technology and engineering research activity.


Bring your next high value manufacturing and design conference to New Zealand

To enquire about having your business event in New Zealand please feel free to contact me.

Leonie Ashford

Leonie Ashford

Business Events Bid Manager

New Zealand

High Value Manufacturing and Design News and Stories