Financial boost for southern firms

  • Hon Shane Jones
Regional Economic Development

Eleven Southland and Otago engineering and manufacturing firms will receive up to $2.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to support economic growth and create new high-skilled jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

“The vision of these companies align with the Provincial Growth Fund’s objectives to increase productivity, create jobs and enhance economic opportunities in their region. Some 43 new sustainable jobs will be created which will get money circulating where it is needed most right now to offset the economic impact of COVID-19,” Shane Jones said.

“Today’s announcement builds on over $30.7 million in PGF funding already announced for Southland and Otago manufacturing and engineering firms late last year which bought with it approximately 160 jobs. That’s just over 200 new sustainable jobs being created through our investment and these companies have the potential for further growth.

“The majority of manufacturing and engineering firms the PGF has already funded have just got on with it. They’ve been able to order new equipment, accelerate their production, hire new staff, meet their current customers’ demands and vie for new work. A number of these companies continued working through the COVID-19 lock-down as essential services and have experienced increased demand for their products and services,” Shane Jones said.

The engineering and manufacturing sector has been identified as a key sector for PGF investment, with Otago and Southland specifically targeted due to the high number of firms in the sector there.

“Many of the 11 companies funded today have been producing to their full capacity and the barriers faced by them shows that while manufacturing and engineering is a strong sector in these two regions, it is constrained by the need for capital to invest in modern and more productive equipment and a need for more workers, both skilled and unskilled,” Shane Jones said.

Otago and Southland engineering and manufacturing firms receiving funding today:


Queenstown Engineering Ltd - $190,000 towards this specialist fabrication and installation company to purchase machinery to process greater quantities of steel in-house and reduce out-sourcing work.

AcuCut Limited – $100,000 to the Oamaru-based company towards purchasing a laser cutter for faster and greater precision and a laser making machine to more than double its production. 

Calder Developments Ltd - $356,371 to increase the design and increase the company’s productivity by buying a plasma cutter which can do in an hour what currently takes an engineer about 20 hours.

Waikouaiti Auto & Engineering Limited - $177,500 to buy 2 pieces of equipment to increase their productivity, vie for new work, and keep more work in-house at its three engineering hubs based in Waikouaiti, Dunedin and Palmerston. 

ZoomTech Limited - $250,000 for three pieces of equipment – a floor borer, a cylindrical grinder, and a CNC lathe – to allow the high-tech engineering workshop to meet its current business demands across a diverse range of sectors, including agriculture and health. 

Datum Engineering Limited - $231,500 to upgrade 2 pieces of machinery to advance its manufacturing capability of precision machined components for the automotive, transport and agriculture industries

Cen Eng Limited - $68,000 towards three pieces of equipment – a CNC press brake, a lathe and a punch and share machine – to enable the Central Otago company to complete more work in-house, shorten lead times exacerbated by Cen Eng’s isolated location and diversify its product range.          

Precision Profile Limited - $392,000 towards purchasing a plasma cutter to meet the Dunedin-based company’s current customer needs, double its current plasma machine production, diversify its services and open up its services to larger jobs.  


McKenzie Marine and MacKraft Limited - $103,000 to the Bluff based jet boat and fishing boat refurbishers for two pieces of equipment – a CNC brake press and a milling machine - to potentially increase its production from 14 boats a year to 26.

McMaster Engineering Limited - $108,000 for three pieces of equipment – an overhead crane, sheet metal guillotine, plasma table - to improve Winton-based McMaster’s ability to service the needs of the local farming community and industry in central Southland. 

Insol Limited - $225,000 towards two pieces of equipment – an acoustic camera and a fixed computer with pressure measuring equipment – for the Invercargill based company’s world-class wind tunnel testing facility that can test wind interactions with facades.