US mar­ket keen for kiwi made

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

A Wanaka man­u­fac­turer says New Zealand might have lost the Amer­ica’s Cup on the wa­ter, but man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­nesses are en­joy­ing a big win. TJ Ir­win has been man­u­fac­tur­ing The Slam­mer Tool from his Wanaka base for 23 years and now has dis­trib­u­tors in South Amer­ica, the United States and Aus­tralia. De­scribed as a com­bi­na­tion be­tween a crow bar, axe, spade and grub­ber, the Slam­mer tool is en­joy­ing a surge in pop­u­lar­ity due to its kiwi ori­gins. ‘‘Ever since the com­pe­ti­tion started for the Amer­ica’s Cup, our rep­re­sen­ta­tive in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia has tripled sales due to the fact that a lot of peo­ple in the States are see­ing both boats are made by ki­wis,’’ Mr Ir­win said. ‘‘We’re ex­tremely proud of Team New Zealand ... I think a lot of peo­ple don’t un­der­stand that the boat build­ing in­dus­try here is big­ger than the wine in­dus­try.’’ The tool is used in the hor­ti­cul­ture and agri­cul­ture in­dus­tries, but has also been used for dis­as­ter re­cov­ery, break­ing and lever­ag­ing con­crete in the Haiti and Christchurch earth­quakes and the Ja­panese tsunami. The Slam­mer Tool’s pro­file is also grow­ing in New Zealand, af­ter be­ing nom­i­nated along­side Wanaka’s D-Fa dogs in the Made In New Zealand Peo­ple’s Choice awards.

Made in NZ: Team Emi­rates New Zealand might not have won the Auld Mug but the Amer­ica’s Cup has proved aw­in­ner for New Zealand man­u­fac­tur­ers, a Wanaka busi­ness­man says.

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