Official opening Email Appliances (nz) Limited complex

  • John Luxton
Associate Minister of International Trade


It was with much pleasure that I accepted the invitation to be here today to take part in the opening of this very impressive national office and warehouse complex of Email Appliances (NZ) Ltd.

Today celebrates the confidence of the Email Directorship in the potential of the New Zealand market for home appliances.

And it celebrates the hard work and effort put in by Email and the rest of the team involved in this project. What we have here today is the culmination of a lot of work by many people. It is part of an additional $10million capital investment by Email in New Zealand.

Today is also an opportunity to reflect on and give recognition to the founding companies that were the foundation stones for both the Australian and New Zealand home appliance industries and the evolution that has occurred.

Email History

The first seeds of the New Zealand home appliance industry were planted by the Scott brothers in 1870 when they established a foundry at Lyttelton.

I understand that even today some of the original land purchased by the Scott brothers in 1876 is still occupied by Email Appliances (NZ) Ltd by their cooking appliance manufacturing operation.

In 1931, with electricity becoming a preferred energy source in homes, mass production of cast iron electric ranges began.

Simpson dishwashers had also begun to be manufactured about the same time down in Marsterton. As New Zealand was moving into the manufacture of home appliances, a small company called Emmco owned by Joe Schaartl and Archie Shultz producing small metal components in Australia was acquired by the Electricity Meter and Allied Industries Ltd and the name Email, now synonymous with the home appliance industry, was born.

The industry on both sides of the Tasman continued to develop independently through to the 1980's.


Then came the signing of the CER agreement (Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement)

This Agreement opened the way for our two countries to become one market. Economies of scale soon became apparent and, in 1983 the Ceramco Corporation Atlas manufacturing and distribution visions in Christchurch became part of the Email Group and were renamed Simpson Appliances (NZ) Ltd.

Today, as I said in my opening remarks, is one more step in the evolutionary process of home appliance production.

Just as Email strives to meet the ever increasing demands of the consumer public so do both Governments continue to work to develop the one market philosophy of CER. It is important for our future.


That process is continued in the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (or TTMRA as it is commonly known.)

The TTMRA is intended to remove the remaining regulatory impediments to trade across the Tasman.

Until these barriers are reduced the full benefits of trade liberalisation under the CER Agreement cannot be fully realised.

The benefits of the TTMRA are particularly significant where differences in regulatory regimes between our two countries reflect national, historical or institutional arrangements, rather than the objective assessment of risk to public health, safety, or the environment.

The New Zealand Bill is currently before Select Committee and is due to be reported back by the end of this month. It is likely that the Arrangement will come into force later this year.

Coalition Government

On the domestic front, I am sure that the decision - makers in Email must have thought about how the election of a coalition Government in New Zealand was going to effect their decision to further invest in New Zealand. Despite some theatre reported in the media, the National NZ-First Coalition is well underway. The reality is that the coalition is working very well.

We have a clear agenda - To make New Zealand a prosperous country in which to live and invest.

Government doesn't create wealth, it merely transfers it. Unless manufacturers such as Email and other businesses create wealth and prosper then our standard of living will fall and we will lose the ability to have both a socially cohesive and an environmentally friendly society.

It is my view that the Government should continue to reduce its size and role in the economy, so that wealth creators such as Email can get on with the job.

It is important to ensure that private sector innovation and investment is not crowded out or constrained by government activities.

Regulatory costs

We are acutely aware of the hot issue in the business community of compliance costs. The regulatory costs of doing business in New Zealand need to be reduced. As Minister of Commerce I have instigated a review of existing legislation and regulations which impact on business costs. This has a particular focus on the Resource Management Act, the Building Act, the Health and Safety inermployment Act, the Privacy Act, and the Human Rights Act.

We are also looking at the development of future regulation to ensure benefits and costs are fully recognised before they are enacted. It is expected that this review will be completed by the end of September this year.

Open Economy

The Coalition Agreement also recognises the need for overseas capital. Overseas investment is important for New Zealand's growth.

To grow our GDP, we need to maintain an open internationally competitive economy. Key platforms for this are:

deregulated, competitive and open markets
stable macroeconomic policies
a continuation of the current policy of tariff reductions
where required, quality public services provided as efficiently as possible
and the lowest possible tax rates

The Budget presented last week by the Treasurer, Winston Peters, was clearly focused on the drive towards an open and competitive economy and built on these key areas.

For the business community stability is important. The Budget gives certainty as to the business and economic environment that you will be working in so that you can make investment decisions in confidence.

The success of our Asian neighbours has generally been in the industries that have been exposed directly to the pressures of the international market place, rather than those that Governments have tried to pick as winners.

There is plenty of evidence of formerly highly protected areas of NZ industry and commerce becoming internationally competitive, only when local protection has been withdrawn.

Import licensing and high tariffs have gone and as outlined in the budget we will continue to reduce and eliminate remaining tariff protection.

These changes although not always comfortable, force NZ business to continue to innovate and be internationally competitive.

An open economy allows New Zealand industry better access to ideas,products, investment and markets. It allows us to remain competitive and keep up with a changing and dynamic world.

Email takes opportunities

Email Appliances (NZ) Ltd has been at the forefront of making the most of opportunities available in New Zealand. It has been successful and has achieved a number of milestones, including;

increasing total sales by NZ$ 35 Million (Up 20 percent) in the financial year to March 1997.
Winning increased market share under the Simpson and Westinghouse brands.
Releasing a new range of Westinghouse electronically controlled frost-free refrigerators on to the New Zealand market.
Email's Christchurch factory recently produced the one millionth cooking appliance.
Email plant was awarded NZ Whitewares first quality Achievement Award by the Quality Awards Foundation.
And now the completion of this new complex.

Email has taken the opportunities offered. I want to congratulate you on your success to date. I am sure that your continued investment in New Zealand will be well rewarded. Congratulations. To all those involved in the completion of this project, well done.

I now declare the Email Appliances NZ Ltd Mt Wellington complex open. Thankyou