Need for more businesses like Pultron – Key

Prime Minister John Key yesterday held up Gisborne manufacturer Pultron as a prime example of how Kiwis can succeed in innovation and overseas trade.

As part of Mr Key’s pre-budget speech in Wellington he announced the Government’s 2015 budget would invest $80 million over four years to increase its Callaghan Innovation research and development co-funding budget by 14 percent.

He then pointed to former grant recipient Pultron as “precisely” the kind of business the Government wanted to back.

“Another grant recipient is Pultron Composites of Gisborne,” said Mr Key. “Its research and development focus is in resin technology and engineering.

“Pultron, which employs around 100 FTEs, manufactures well over 100 specialised components, and 80 percent of its production is exported.

“Its products are used in a wide range of global applications, including sail battens, fishing rods, ski poles, security fencing and electric fencing systems.

“These are precisely the kinds of businesses we want to succeed . . . and we need more of them,” said Mr Key.

“They create jobs. They build our exports and they contribute to achieving that stronger New Zealand economy we all want.”

Pultron chief executive Jasper Holdsworth said the “multi-million dollar” grant, issued last year, covered 20 percent of the company’s R and D budget.

Mr Holdsworth said research and development were needed to help prove ideas and concepts, and yesterday’s announcement could signal government recognition of that.

“At the end of the day all companies must remember that innovation is not a great idea but the successful commercialisation of that idea.

“We have always focused on R and D and being internationally competitive, so one of the messages I got from that (PM’s speech) is that it sends a signal to the regions as a way to enhance economic growth.

“There is a lot of latent potential that resides in our regions and I see a lot of opportunities.

“In the last decade we have grown by four times the size, from 25 staff to over 100, and we are in growth mode again. We are potentially looking at employing another 25 people over the next three years.”

Pultron also operates from a plant in Dubai.


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