The Prime Minister, John Key, today officiated at the official opening of Waikato Milking Systems’ $13 million 9000 sqm building at Horotiu, north of Hamilton.
Opening the building Mr Key said he was delighted to share in a significant milestone in the history of an exciting company which is doing great things.
“This is a great New Zealand company doing some exciting things here and overseas. I want to take this opportunity to pay particular tribute to its Iwi owners, Tainui and Ngai Tahu, who demonstrate the type of collaboration and diversification which is happening across some of our largest Iwi. It’s great to see that happening.
“When I go around the world negotiating free trade deals I take the opportunity to remind people that New Zealand’s milk production is only 3% of the world’s output but we are the biggest exporter in the world because we have a small domestic population. And we do that in a completely unsubsidised way. The reason we are successful is because of the type of things Waikato Milking Systems is doing – driving technology and science.”
Welcoming the large agribusiness crowd, Waikato Milking Systems CEO Dean Bell said the purpose-built building was designed to bring together, and unlock the potential, of each member of the company’s 100 staff.
“This building, for the first time in our 30 year history, brings all four manufacturing divisions together on one site.
“We’re a global company designing, manufacturing and exporting dairy technology to more than 30 countries around the world with offices in Australia, USA and the UK with clients as far away as Russia, Israel and China.”
“Roughly 40% of New Zealand’s exports are raw products, only 16% are complex. We are helping turn that ratio around, one rotary dairy system at a time, aiming to double our business over the next few years and shift from doing around 35% of our business internationally, to around 70%.”
Guest at the opening included local Members of Parliament, Tim Macindoe, David Bennett and Nanaia Mahuta; Allan Sanson, Mayor of Waikato District Council; Waikato Milking Systems’ directors Randal Barrett, Pioneer Capital; Chris Joblin, CEO Tainui Group Holdings; Matthew Slater, CIO Ngai Tahu Holdings and Richard Aubrey and Jim Pharoah representing employee shareholders.