Innovative Bay businesses are one of the major reasons why the country’s economy is growing healthily, says National MP Gerry Brownlee.
With Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller as his guide, Gerry visited several local companies who are at the forefront of their respective industries during a tour of the region on Friday.
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller with Robotics Plus chief operating office and director Adrian Scarfe, National MP Gerry Brownlee and Plus Group founder and director Steven Saunders. Photo: David Tauranga
The companies visited by the two MP’s were technology incubator WNT Ventures, kiwifruit marketers Zespri, 3D metal printer and high-tech manufacturer Rapid Advanced Manufacturing, and horticulture management and agri-tech firm The Plus Group.
During the visit to Plus Group’s Newnham Park Innovation Centre based in Te Puna, Gerry was shown a selection of projects the firm currently is developing, such as their multipurpose orchard robotics and robotic apple packers.
“Recently the economy growth figures were released showing 3.6 per cent growth and you only have to come to a place like this [Plus Group] to know why that’s happening.
“You just want to see this type of thinking replicated across the entire economy. These guys here typify everything New Zealander’s believe about themselves, the ‘we can do anything’ mentality.
“They’re doing it and selling it to the world, it’s quite extraordinary.”
Gerry says his visit helped to put into context the role Government plays in fostering businesses to undertake innovative projects and practices.
While governments’ can create environments to allow businesses to ‘push the envelope’ with their practices and products, it takes “ordinary New Zealanders” and entrepreneurs to take advantage of circumstances that will allow them to grow like the four companies he visited on Friday.
“Creativity comes from within the individual, there are ways you can ensure people have the tools to be creative, but in essence, sometimes it’s the risky capital investment that you see in a place like [Plus Group} that lets a creative person really come to the fore with something new.”